- 96 percent of the vegetables and fruits that end up on local dishes do not undergo security checks, exposing citizens to toxic substances attributed to rising cancer cases and health care costs for households.
- The surveillance offers the government an opportunity to weed out sellers of fake chemicals and farmers who grow products in heavily polluted rivers and sewers.
Food safety is a concern for both Kenyans and consumers in the country’s foreign markets. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Kenyans have become more health conscious, likely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and are demanding safe food.
This, says the ministry, has prompted the establishment of quality and safety safeguard measures.
For many years, Kenya has only paid attention to horticultural products aimed at export markets, which only account for four percent of the country’s totally fresh produce.
What is puzzling is that 96 percent of the vegetables and fruits that end up on local dishes are not subject to security checks, exposing citizens to toxic substances attributed to rising cancer cases and the costs of care. medical for homes.
The economic and public health damage caused by this lack of compliance with the rules is irreparable.
Therefore, we commend the initiative of having quality brands on the vegetables and fruits sold in supermarkets.
It gives consumers the opportunity to select those who have complied with security controls.
The Horticulture Directorate has partnered with the Kenyan Retail Traders Association (Retrak), the Kenya Fresh Produce Association and other stakeholders in the horticulture sector to enforce this regulation, starting with supermarkets and then markets. informal.
In addition, the government plans to track products that do not meet quality standards, especially minimum residue levels, and advise farmers on the correct type of chemicals to use.
Agrovets should also be involved in this effort, especially through training, so that they can inform farmers about the proper chemicals and how they should be applied within farms.
The surveillance, which traces the origin of products, also offers the government the opportunity to eliminate sellers of fake chemicals and farmers who grow products in heavily polluted rivers and sewers and impose severe penalties.
We also commend the multi-agency approach and hope that the counties where the food is produced will not be left out of these efforts.