KENYA- The Horticultural Crops Directorate recently issued a warning of license revocation for exporters of fresh beans and peas in pods found with excessive pesticide residue, aiming to protect Kenyan consumers. 

The Horticultural Crops Directorate is one of the eight Directorates under the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), whose mandate is to oversee the Regulation, Development, and Promotion of the Horticultural crops sector, through the provisions of the AFA Act (Act No. 13 of 2013), Crops Act (Act 16 of 2013) and other relevant laws and regulations.

The directorate has mandated that all exporters of these products, including out-growers, to guarantee that their farms adhere to either the National Horticulture Standard (KS 1758:2016: part 2) or the Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) food safety standard.

Moreover, exporters must provide valid food safety certificates when applying for or renewing export licenses.

In order to safeguard our export market for Beans and Peas in Pods, the Directorate has instituted measures to minimize interceptions due to exceedance of pesticide residue limits, by enforcing compliance with the National Horticulture Standard, Global GAP Food Safety Standard, and Horticulture Regulations,” said the directorate’s acting director-general Willis Audi.

Subsequently, exporters of beans and peas in pods are required to demonstrate compliance, failure to which their dealership for beans and peas in pods will be revoked,” he said.

This development occurred five months subsequent to the launch of GAP guides for avocados, beans, and peas by the National Horticulture Task Force. 

These guides necessitate exporters to adhere to destination market standards to avoid potential bans as research reveals excessive consumption of pesticides in fresh produce and legumes. 

The introduction of these guidelines came amidst a notable increase in interception incidents linked to the premature harvest of crops, as well as challenges in storage, transportation, disease and pest control, and hygiene. 

These issues were impeding access to export markets and undermining the country’s competitiveness.

In the previous year, European Union governments collectively agreed to diminish residue limits for two pesticides known to harm bees. 

The European Commission proposed a reduction in maximum residue limits for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, both neonicotinoid pesticides identified by the European Food Safety Agency as posing a significant risk to pollinators. 

All 27 EU members supported this proposal, underscoring the importance of bee safety and pesticide control.

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