Regulator warns beans, peas exporters on use of pesticides


A farmer sprays French beans in Kajiado County. FILE PHOTO | POOL

The Horticultural Crops Directorate has threatened to revoke the licences of exporters of fresh beans and peas in pods with excess pesticide residue to safeguard Kenya’s market.

The Directorate has instructed that all exporters of beans and peas in pods to ensure that their farms, including out growers, are certified to the National Horticulture Standard (KS 1758:2016: part 2) or Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) food safety standard.

It has also instructed the exporters to submit valid food safety certificates during export licence application or renewal.

“In order to safeguard our export market for Beans and Peas in Pods, the Directorate has instituted measures to minimise 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 comes five months after the national horticulture task force launched GAP guides for avocados, beans, and peas that compel exporters to comply with the standards demanded by destination markets to avoid bans.

The guidelines were introduced amid rising levels of interception tied to the harvest of immature crops, storage and transportation, disease and pest controls, and hygiene, restricting access to the export markets and reducing the country’s competitiveness.

European Union governments last year agreed to reduce the residue limits for two pesticides that harm bees. The 27 EU members backed a proposal from the European Commission to lower maximum residue limits for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, two neonicotinoid pesticides the European Food Safety Agency says pose a high risk to pollinators.

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