State to crush outlets selling contaminated food, PS Rono w*rns

Friday, April 19th, 2024 05:15 | By
Photo illustration of food poisoning. PHOTO/UNL Food
Photo illustration of food poisoning. PHOTO/UNL Food

The government is planning a crackdown on traders and outlets selling sub-standard food to consumers, Agriculture Principal Secretary David Rono has said.

He said the ministry together with other agencies in the government will fast-track various strategies geared toward ensuring food being sold to Kenyans is safe and clean.

“The government will use various approaches, mainly enforcing all legislations and regulations and closing down outlets where polluted food is said to be sold. In this way consumers will be assured of clean food and prevented against diseases among other infections,” said Rono.

Strategic plan

The PS who spoke during the official launch of the 2nd Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) Strategic plan 2023/24 - 2027/28, observed that despite farmers producing a lot of food in the country, consumers are still complaining of adulterated food. “I urge all agriculture-related agencies to align their strategic plans to the government’s Bottom Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA),” Rono added.

He warned the crackdown will be conducted along highways, urban areas, estates and at farm level.

Kalro Director General Eliud Kireger said the organisation in partnership with development partners will spend Sh55 billion to implement the new strategy.

The strategy will focus on bolstering crop and livestock productivity and quality, advancing sustainable practices and technology in agriculture, and utilising biotechnology for comprehensive development,

It will also be advancing knowledge dissemination and practical training centres as well as fostering county-level innovation networks for crop and livestock development, enhance seed production, define research priorities for crop and livestock in the country and also create a funding framework for agricultural research.

“We will be sourcing funding from the national government, grants and contributions from development partners and private sector partnerships, through collaborative projects and also internally generated revenue,” Kireger said.

Between 2017-2022, Kireger said Kalro had already developed and released 109 crop varieties, commercialised 47 varieties, distributed 69 million clean planting materials and produced 9,470 tonnes of basic and certified seeds.

“In those five years, we have also developed 250 crop protection technologies, empowered farmers with climate-smart technologies for enhanced productivity and climate resilience and developed 15 technologies to reduce postharvest losses and sustain productivity gains,” he added.

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