NAIROBI, The Kenyan government is reviewing the licensing of firms manufacturing or supplying pesticides with the aim of reducing chemical residues which have been found to be prevalent in food, especially vegetables and fruits.

Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Willy Bett on Tuesday warned farmers against excessive use of pesticides, noting that his ministry would soon be conducting random checks on food supplied to markets to measure their chemical residue content.

Recent reports that Kenyans are consuming food with high level of toxins in the form of chemical residue have seen the Ministry of Agriculture moving to address the situation.

Bett said that tracing back food with high levels of chemical residue had been a challenge to the ministry, but efforts were being made to help track backwards to farmers who supplied the food with high levels of chemicals.

He believed that 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 would help address this issue.

Bett, who was speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a quality fish laboratory in Nairobi, said the facility would help Kenya to enhance fish export standards.

The construction of the laboratory is being funded by the Spanish government at a cost of one billion shillings (about 9.8 million US dollars) and it is expected to be operational in 18 months’ time. Two other similar fish laboratories are being constructed in Kisumu and Mombasa.

Source: KBC