The annual Agriculture Society of Kenya (ASK) shows are set to make a come-back this year after a one-year hiatus.
This is after the Ministry of Health approved modalities that include health protocols that will guide staging of the shows.
In a communication published on the ASK Twitter page, permission to stage the shows will be granted based on the prevailing Covid-19 case load for the respective county.
“Each of our shows and trade fairs will be given approvals on a case-by-case basis depending on the case load in the country,” reads the communication.
This year’s theme is “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade”.
If a schedule from ASK’s website is anything to go by, the Central Kenya National Show will be the first fair this year following the break occasioned by the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020.
The society has already made a request to the Ministry of Health seeking approval to stage the Kitale and Nyeri shows. ASK says that the two counties have a minimal spread of coronavirus.
According to the Nyeri ASK branch show Manager Amos Kirui, key requirement from the Ministry of Health is crafting of crowd management measures to prevent spread of Covid-19.
Show organizers will also be expected to provide thermo guns and install hand washing stations to be used by show goers.
They will also be expected to ensure that exhibitors and attendees maintain social distance by restricting the number of people entering the show ground and ensuring that those allowed inside keep their masks on at all times.
“We are considering working with the local administration to help us enforce some of the regulations and also setting up separate entrances and exits to ensure that the two sets of crowds do not crowd at one place,” said Kirui.
He added that it was premature to set a tentative date for the staging of the show as the organizers were still waiting for a go-ahead from the Ministry of Health. Upon approval, the ASK will proceed to invite exhibitors for participation.
In 2019, the Central Kenya National show brought together over 110 exhibitors at the Kabiru-ini showgrounds in Nyeri town.
ASK says it’s also working on a resumption schedule for the other shows with sectoral shows being considered for Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Machakos counties before the end of the year.
By Esther Mwangi