Strategic quality management implementation practices by horticultural industry in Kenya: the case of pollen Ltd

The horticulture sector has become one of the biggest foreign exchange earners for the Kenyan economy and provides numerous Kenyans with much needed employment and income. However consumer demands on quality aspects and production methods are getting more stringent every day. To remain competitive in the global market will require horticultural industry in Kenya to embrace total quality in all its operations. Appreciation and understanding of the strategic quality management principles is pertinent towards understanding quality management of the horticultural industry. Most of the literature nevertheless, has touched on strategic quality management principles and QMS in the Kenyan context narrowly. The objectives of the study was to find out the extent of Quality Management System implementation and the SQM principles practiced in the horticultural industry in Kenya as well as ascertain the benefits and challenges faced when implementing QMS. Pollen Ltd was used as a case study using descriptive research design. The findings will be used by the stakeholders in the horticultural industry for managerial purposes and to improve on strategic quality management in the farms. It will also add into the existing literature on quality management and form base for further research. The targeted population was fifty three respondents of Pollen Ltd comprising of managers and supervisors. Data was collected from both primary and secondary sources. The results showed that Pollen Ltd to a very great extent applies QMS which is valid to its purpose and SQM principles to a very great extent. Respondents cited customer satisfaction as the major benefit and a lot of documentation as the top most challenge in implementing QMS. The study recommended further research on the effects of quality management on the employees' performance in the horticultural industry in Kenya. Further research should also be done on the influence of QMS on the performance of horticultural industry in Kenya

African Dryland Institute for Sustainability , University of Nairobi