Kenyan grower groups claim they will block ban on pesticides

Kenyan grower groups have vowed to fight the proposal that their nation bans some of the commonly-used pesticides. The pressure for a ban comes from organic food groups and the "farm to fork" strategy by the European Union. People in Eastern and Central Kenya said small-holders would be hardest-hit if their government bows to the pressure.

According to studies from Egerton University showed, Kenya would lose Sh150 billion in one year through reduced harvests if it bowed to pressure and banned the pesticides. Kirinyaga Tomato Growers Association coordinator Peter Gachoki said there is no way to produce tomatoes without using imidacloprid or chlorpyrifos, two of the chemicals targeted. “Our tomatoes are sold locally, mostly in Nairobi. So we don’t see why the government wants to harm food security to please Europe,” he said. The EU’s Food to Fork strategy outlines how the bloc wants to overhaul its food system to make it “fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly.”

Exporters of food products to the EU must also comply with these standards to access the European market. This will be enforced beginning later this year. On the other hand, organic farming lobbyists are pressurising the government to ban in Kenya the use of pesticides that have been banned or restricted by the European Union.

Source: the-star.co.ke



Photo source: Dreamstime.com


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