Small and medium enterprises will now enjoy graduated costs for all services offered from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), following the passing of a policy geared at supporting their growth.
The new SMEs policy is envisioning a vibrant sector sustainably producing high quality products accessible to local and global markets.
An announcement issued by KEBS Board Chairman Eng Bernard Ngore, confirms that among other benefits, SMEs in Uasin Gishu will now enjoy graduated costs for all services offered by the national standards body.
Ngore, said that, “We as the body we believe the SMEs will form a very strong backbone of this economy going forward as 80 per cent of employment in this country comes from SMEs, and it only contributes around 30-35 GDP and this can be improved if they are given the right environment, facilitated and capacitated to graduate from Micro to small and medium to the large firms.”
He added, “We have heard our stakeholders and customers and we are aware that the SMEs sector is disadvantaged in comparison to larger businesses and we have undertaken to provide discounted rates and charges for players in the SMEs sector”.
“As the Bureau we also make sure everything that comes to the country is of high quality as we test to ensure is of the right quality as anything that is not of right quality we do not allow to the country, and in case it finds itself in the market we have market surveillance which goes around checking to ensure its conforming to the standards required,” Ngore said.
Ngore said, “KEBS will also provide product certification and system certification services to facilitate better market access of the SMEs products and market surveillance to ensure quality SMEs products in the market place”.
Managing Director KEBS Bernard N. Njiraini added that, “As the Bureau it’s important for us to see the impact of the standards in the market as we have interacted with micro small medium enterprises and large firms to understand their concerns in regards to the standards we have developed in the past and recent.”
“As Uasin Gishu County is affluent in Agriculture, we need to ensure that agricultural productivity improves, and this can be done if we ensure the farm inputs such as fertilizers are standard. We have set an elaborate regulatory mechanism for testing and inspection for these products coming from outside. We have pre-export verification of conformity to standards (PVOC) program to ascertain that these products before they are shipped to the country meet the standards required,” the Managing Director said.
He said, “We encourage our SMEs to produce high quality products, and licensing as this is crucial to ensure effective trade facilitation for Kenyan products in the regional market and beyond.”
By Judy Too