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Economy

Kephis warns against bid to bar it from port

Cargo at the port of Mombasa
Cargo at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Plant agency has warned the agriculture sector risks invasion from harmful organisms that could jeopardise the multi-billion export of horticulture produce should plans to kick them out of Mombasa port go on as planned.

Kenya Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and other agencies are on the verge of being moved out of the facility by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), which argues that their presence delays operations at the hub.

However, Kephis Managing Director Esther Kimani said the move would hurt agriculture.

“Our goal is to prevent the introduction and spread of harmful organisms that can harm our agriculture and environment and also prevent the same from being exported with agricultural products,” she said.

The activities of the Kephis start with certification at farm level, end point inspection and issuance of necessary documents for export.

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A lack of this will see Kenya’s horticulture produce banned from the international market if they fail to comply with international standards on pests and chemical residues.

On imports, the agency issues permit certifying that the cargo is pest-free and verify that it has been inspected at the country origin.

“We also verify that integrity of consignment has been maintained during transit to ensure that we do not allow in a harmful organism,” said Ms Kimani.

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