Current reports that Kenyans are consuming food with high level of toxins in form of chemical residue have seen the Ministry of Agriculture move to address the situation, warning farmers against using uncertified or excess pesticides.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett who was speaking during the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a quality fish laboratory in Nairobi, said the facility will help Kenya to enhance fish export standards as one way of enhancing and marketing Kenyan products internationally.
The construction of the labs which are funded by the Spanish government at a cost of 1 billion shillings will be operational in 18 months’ time while two other similar fish laboratories are being constructed in Kisumu and Mombasa.
Meanwhile, the government is reviewing the licensing of firms manufacturing or supplying pesticides with the aim of reducing chemical residues that have been found to be prevalent in food, especially vegetables and fruits.
The CS send a warning to farmers using uncertified or excess pesticide that has become too harmful to human health and also causing environmental pollution, citing that his ministry will soon start conducting random checks on food supplied to markets in a move to measure their chemical residue content.
“Tracing back food with high levels of chemical residue has been a challenge to the ministry, but efforts are being put in place to help track back farmers who supply food with high levels of chemicals,” he said.
CS believes reviewing the licensing regime for firms involved in manufacturing or supplying pesticides in Kenya as well as conducting random checks on food supplied to markets will further help address this issue.