KEPHIS TRAINS HORTICULTURAL EXPORTERS ON COMPLIANCE TO MARKET REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD SAFETY

 

KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani (centre) with horticulture exporters after a training on compliance to market requirements for food safety

 

KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi -KEPHIS has trained 65 horticultural export companies on the European Union (EU) requirements, food safety and pesticide residue analysis.

 

KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani urged the exporters to comply with market requirements to maintain and also increase the market for their produce. She encouraged them to put in place working systems, look for less harsh methods of pest management practices, use chemicals as recommended by the Pesticide Control Products Board (PCPB) and the right production procedures to reduce the number of interceptions.

 

“Let us guard this market jealously by ensuring that we do not purchase products for the EU market as some farmers are known to use chemicals that have not been recommended by the PCPB even though they would want to increase their produce; also, by ensuring good production procedures, we reduce interception(s), maintain and increase the market hence, increase in production which can result to generating of more jobs,” stated Dr. Kimani.   

 

 

 

 

The trainees were taken through the current phytosanitary requirements and advised that inspection at exit points give an assurance that a certificate has been issued as per Kenyan standards. Trainees were urged to put in place quality control systems to avoid rejection(s) and interception(s) as a result of diseases and pests such as white flies, thrips, leaf miner, fall army warm, amongst others.

 

KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani addressing horticultural exporters during the official opening of a one day training on compliance to market requirements for food safety

 

She noted that the false codling moth is affecting roses, chilies and peas with pods. Pesticide residue analysis was a key topic looked at and trainees were urged to limit chemical pesticide use and use skilled personnel who can take representative samples as per EU requirements and follow the right procedure(s) of sampling.

 

Food safety is of major concern by consumers due to rising cases of lifestyle diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Trainees were therefore, urged to implement systemic food safety practices so as to comply before and during supply with both the local and export market requirements. They are also required to maintain quality, good hygiene and sanitation in the production, storage, processing and packaging of food as hazards such as biological, chemical and physical can be present.

 

“Despite the provision of official food safety control mechanisms by the government, the responsibility rests with the business operators along the food chain,” added Bernard Okonda of the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory.

 

 

 

Mr. Eric Were, Officer-in-Charge at the Plant Inspection Unit at JKIA addressing trainees on current phytosanitary market requirements for vegetables

 

To meet the EU market requirements and avert stringent controls, KEPHIS and the Horticulture Crops Directorate has put in place measures which include routine checks on status of exporters and food safety systems, suspension of non-compliant companies and risk profiling of companies.   

 
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