To safeguard Kenya’s market, the Horticultural Crops Directorate has issued a stern warning about potentially revoking licenses for exporters dealing in fresh beans and peas in pods with excessive pesticide residue. To adhere to this directive, the Directorate has stipulated that all exporters of beans and peas in pods must ensure that their farms, including those of their outgrowers, meet the requirements of either the National Horticulture Standard (KS 1758:2016: part 2) or the Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) food safety standard. Additionally, exporters are required to furnish valid food safety certificates when applying for or renewing their export licenses.
Willis Audi, the acting director-general of the Directorate, emphasized the necessity of these measures to prevent interceptions resulting from exceeding pesticide residue limits. This is achieved through rigorous enforcement of compliance with the National Horticulture Standard, Global GAP Food Safety Standard, and Horticulture Regulations. In the event of non-compliance, exporters dealing in beans and peas in pods must be prepared to have their trading privileges revoked.
This development comes after the national horticulture task force introduced GAP guides for avocados, beans, and peas five months ago. These guides compel exporters to adhere to the standards required by their destination markets to avoid potential bans. They were introduced in response to an increase in interceptions linked to factors such as the harvesting of immature crops, storage and transportation practices, disease and pest control methods, and hygiene standards. These interceptions have not only restricted access to export markets but have also diminished the competitiveness of Kenya’s agricultural products.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that the European Union took steps to address the issue of pesticides harmful to bees by agreeing to reduce residue limits for two such pesticides. Last year, all 27 EU member states supported a proposal from the European Commission to lower the maximum residue limits for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, which are neonicotinoid pesticides identified as posing a high risk to pollinators by the European Food Safety Agency.