Commodities

Kenya seeks US market access for fresh oregano, parsley

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Ms Serah Nyamvula with herbs she grows at her farm in Bomani, Kilifi County. They include parsely, mint sweet, oregano and thyme. WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Summary

  • Aphis has drafted a pest risk assessment that describes potential pests associated with the commodities ahead of the possible approval process.
  • The agency is making the assessment available for public comment before it finalises its draft assessment that identifies pest control measures in the import approval process.
  • The US Department of Agriculture said the draft pest risk assessment for oregano for consumption from Kenya will be available for review and comment until October 13.

Kenya has asked the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) to authorise the importation of fresh oregano and parsley to the US from Kenya.

Aphis has drafted a pest risk assessment that describes potential pests associated with the commodities ahead of the possible approval process.

The agency is making the assessment available for public comment before it finalises its draft assessment that identifies pest control measures in the import approval process.

The US Department of Agriculture said the draft pest risk assessment for oregano for consumption from Kenya will be available for review and comment until October 13.

"Based on the market access request submitted by the government of Kenya, the pathway was considered to include fresh shoots of oregano shipped by air in cartons," it said.

Oregano is a herb used to add flavour to dishes and to treat health conditions.

Parsley is often used as a garnish, but it can also enhance flavour and benefit human health, according to health experts.

In April this year, the US allowed the importation of previously banned carnations from Kenya without any restrictions, with local flower farmers saying it is a welcome boost to the horticultural market.

APHIS said at the time it would allow the importation of carnation cuttings from Kenya without post-entry quarantine requirements as long as they will pose no disease or pests threats to the US.

Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya CEO Okisegere Ojepat at the time termed the approval a landmark move for Kenya saying it would expand the basket of cut flowers exported to the US boosting jobs and income for Kenyans.