The problem in the semi-arid county known as Embu County – as well as several other mango-growing counties – is an accelerated spread and distribution of crop diseases. The country feared being blacklisted due to a massive infestation of fruit flies which are among the quarantined pests in the European Union. The ban would continue for close to a decade until 2021 when the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) lifted it following concerted efforts by different organisations.
However, growers have benefitted from training on proper pesticide use and pest control systems by EU funded Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP). The farmers were taught the safe agrochemicals to use which are less harmful and acceptable in the international premium markets, and the intervals at which to pray Integrated Pest Management systems such as inter-cropping the fruit trees with pungent plants to keep away insects.