GS1 urges Farmers to embrace barcoding to securely trade with ease and get a wider market reach
GS1 Kenya, a global standards organization, has called on farmers to bank on adoption of barcoding technology to provide track and trace solutions related to logistics and distribution of a wide range of agricultural produce to better access to the International markets.
This follows a stalemate in the agribusiness sector among the avocado exporters after the Chinese market said to carry out virtual audits of the orchards and facilities before exporting the fruits to China.
Over 10 firms have so far shown interest to export their avocados to China and that the auditing process has been conducted according to a report by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).
GS1 country Chief Executive Peter Otieno told Metropol TV that with the presence of e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay, the company is offering a solution to the farmers to assure supply chain efficiency of agricultural produce to the foreign markets to boost their income.
“There are so many Kenyans in the diaspora who may want these products but somebody somewhere will want to have it only if we organize and do what we are doing right now and export these to the world. With this, we believe farmers will have a market for it because farming is for us and we all want to do farming. The only thing is identifying the market to give us the returns digitally.
This, according to the company, will provide comprehensive information in spotting any troubles associating with the product uniquely and identify the owner using the GS1 traceability system to access the world market.
“Farmers should embrace this, barcodes hold a lot of information with smaller numbers than what you can see. We are moving away from linear barcodes to two dimensional barcodes ( GS1 2D Barcodes) to track and trace movement of their farm products through scanning of these codes,” said Paschal Kasimu Technical Manager at GS1 Kenya.
GS1 Kenya said it is planning to work with KEPHIS to ensure online certification of farmers products. This will help the buyer to see the product and identify it uniquely using Global Location Number (GLN) and General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), which will link them with the farmer directly on a real time basis.
Based on Technology, the global Track and Trace Solutions Market , GS1 has also praised its contribution in the war against counterfeit and contraband goods which is becoming a major global challenge .
The company, however, asked the government to come up with more stringent regulations and standards for the implementation of the policies to protect the manufacturers from incurring losses.
Michael Okoth, Assistant Manager Special Projects at the company said with the wide range of product offering among others ‘Thamani Online’ will help the manufacturers and retailers to securely trade with ease and get a wider market reach at a less cost.