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Govt warns traders against cleaning produce using dirty water in new directives

By Bosco Marita
Monday, July 12th, 2021 16:22 | < 1 min read
Agriculture and Food Authority announces new measures to Horticulture farmers. FILE PHOTO: Courtesy.

Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority has announced new measures that will guide the operation of horticulture traders and other stakeholders.

Acting director of the authority Kello Harsama announced the new measures during a press briefing on horticulture performance at Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Upper Hill, Nairobi.

During the briefing, it was announced that all packages of horticultural produce should not weigh more than 50 kilograms.

On transportation of the produce, it was agreed that horticultural materials should not be ferried together with other materials that may affect its quality or lead to contamination.

Harsama also announced that the government has banned produce aggregation done on the ground along the roadsides such as the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Traders were also directed to ensure vehicles transporting their horticultural produce are well ventilated to avoid damage, contamination and spoilage of produce.

Harsama also warned traders who clean their horticultural produce using unclean water, especially a section of carrot traders, to stop since stern action will be taken against them.

The acting director-general revealed that the horticultural sector employs about 6.5 million Kenyans directly and indirectly.

He stated that the total value of fresh horticultural exports in 2020 was Ksh. 150.2 billion from 313,668 metric tonnes of produce compared to Ksh.143 billion in 2019 from 328,335 metric tonnes.

Flowers accounted for Ksh. 107.5 billion (72%) from 62,575 metric tonnes while vegetables and fruits accounted for KSH. 24.2 (16%) and Ksh.18.8 (12%) Billion respectively from 105,060 metric tonne.

Among those who attended the briefing include industry association representatives, regulatory agencies, state department of crops, county CECM agriculture representative and County CECM trade representative.

Bosco Marita