Some European buyers of Kenya’s horticultural produce are concerned about the African country’s lifting of the ban on genetically modified organisms (GMO), as this would force exporters to carry out extra certification to confirm that the products have not been enhanced by the technology.
GMO is yet to be fully adopted by the European Union and there have been concerns before from the continent when Kenya wanted to introduce biotechnology flowers to the market. Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya Chief Executive Officer Okisegere Ojepat says there are many queries from customers on whether what they are exporting is still GMO-free.
“We are being questioned to confirm whether what we are selling to our European customers is GMO or non-GMO and we are required to show proof through additional certification,” said Ojepat.
Ojepat said though GMO is a good technology for boosting food production, politics surrounding it since the lifting of the ban have caused confusion all over.
The European Union still accounts for the largest ratio of Kenyan horticultural exports taking in 45 per cent of the sales majorly comprising cut flowers, French beans, snow peas and Asian vegetables.