Natural Products Initiative
Kenya is endowed with an abundance of Natural Resources including Plants with high medicinal, cosmetic and nutritional value that is not being exploited locally. As a result, many international organizations exploit these resources and export them raw for manufacture of high value products such as Medicine, Nutritional Supplements and Cosmetics. Investment in creation of capacity for value addition to the enormous biodiversity in resource-endowed countries, such as Kenya, should be prioritized.
A major feature of this trend is to build and promote a knowledge-based economy. A sustainable source of raw material to support the harnessing of this sub-sector on a commercial scale is through setting up botanicals and plantations by application of modern biological and information technologies.
Such prudent utilization of local resources resulting in various socio-economic benefits, and their fair and equitable sharing, as stipulated in the Convention on Biological Diversity and Nagoya Protocol, is increasingly receiving international attention.
The objective of the natural products initiative will be to create niche products that meet national and international standards and to also promote home grown innovations that will lead to manufacture of products for local and global markets.
In line with the Kenya Constitution, there is need to put in place a legal framework to ensure sustainable exploitation, utilization and management of biodiversity for equitable sharing of the accruing benefits to the people of Kenya.
Furthermore, there is need to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization.
In addition the following activities need to be undertaken:
- Mapping of all the natural products spread across the country
- Development of a legal framework to ensure sustainable exploitation
- Utilization and management of bio-diversity.
- Promote Value Addition on Natural Products
- Create a licensing and quality assurance regime for the natural products
- Promote Research, Technology & Innovation for Natural Products
- Promote Patenting, Protection of IPRs and Commercialization of Natural Products