Small-scale farmers across the country have been called on to adopt the use of bio-pesticide technology in order to produce zero chemical produce which is not only safe to the environment and human health but also meets the required International Export Standards.
Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) Portfolio Director Ali Hassan Mohamed has said that 50 percent of the 3.5 million commercial small holder farmers produce is normally rejected on the international market due to high level of crop residue chemicals which are unacceptable.
”The produce that small holders export is oftenly rejected because of the high levels of crop residues which are unacceptable internationally as it does not meet the phyto-sanitary requirements,” he said.
Mohamed was speaking on Friday 26 August 2016, at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) during the launch of BioPestcide Products for Smallholder Farmers dubbed ‘BioPestcides for improved food productivity, safety and security’.
KMT Portfolio Director, Ali Hassan, addressing stakeholders at the biopesticides launch
He said KMT is working with other research institutions like KALRO to ensure that their produce is safe and meets the international export standards.
The Portfolio Director said 700,000 human beings have lost their life as a result of eating meat or food that contains chemical residues and the same applies to the crop production industry.
Dudutech launched four products to be used by smallholder farmers: Lecatech, a biological solution that is effective against whiteflies and thrips; trichotech for control of soil pathogenic fungi and a boost to crop development; beauvitech, an insecticide for the control of thrips; and mytech, that is effective killing plant parastic nematodes, are expected to fill the gaps created by banned chemical pesticides.
Barnaba Rotich, the Commercial and Operations Manager, Dudutech, displays the products launched
Assistant Director for Horticulture & Industrial Crops Research at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute Dr. Lusike Wasilwa said KALRO has partnered with Dudutech for the past two decades in developing different biological controls and bio pesticide.
”What we are doing here today is to launch safe products that the farmers must use so that we are guaranteed of safe quality food that is not only good for the environment but also for our bodies,” Dr.Wasilwa said.
Dr. Lusike Wasilwa of KALRO during the launch of Biopesticide products for smallholder farmers
She said KALRO has further partnered with Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) to ensure that the country’s produce is handled well while being exported to the international market.
FPEAK Director Anthony Kyalo said their organization has put in place an elaborate capacity building programs that ensures smallholder farmers comply with international production protocols.
”We ensure that products getting to the market go through good market protocols in terms of standards and compliance,’’Kyalo reiterated adding that the export authority has enacted stiff regulations, which ensures that any exporter violating market requirements is prosecuted.
He said FPEAK has trained over 25,000 farmers in the last two years over the use of heamahroids and good agricultural practices. Kyalo said that 80 percent of fresh produce in the horticulture sector is produced by smallholder farmers.
Present at the event was Dudutech Managing Director Tom Mason who said that through the pilot program, Dudutech has established that farmers applying bio pesticide technique have enormously benefitted.