Pests Controller Faults EU On Chemical Levels For Flowers

The farm chemicals regulator has blamed the European Union (EU) for frequent changes in rules that threaten to lock Kenya’s fresh produce out of its market.

Pest Control Products Board (PCPB)

Peter Opiyo, the CEO of the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), said the country has observed chemical limits, adding it is pests rather than toxins that threaten the flower industry

“The EU keeps on changing rules and regulations on export of produce to its market and this has affected Kenya greatly,” Mr Opiyo told the National Assembly’s Public Investment Committee (PIC) Wednesday.

Mr Opiyo’s sentiments came just days after the EU gave the country up to end of September to cut chemicals on fresh produce for exports to its members to “minimum residual levels” or lose access to the lucrative market.

The ultimatum issued late last month rekindled market access wars that ensued two years ago when the EU threatened to lock out Kenya’s fresh produce exporters from its market due to high levels of toxins.

The EU access rules demand that produce to its market should contain no more than two per cent of chemical spray.

Agriculture committee chairman Mohammed Noor (Mandera North) who is also a member of PIC said the PCPB was exempted from the Agriculture Food and Crops Act because it is an international body recognised worldwide for pest control standards.

“Unfortunately, of late, flower exports have almost been banned from EU because of toxic substances arising from pesticide use,” said Mr Noor.

The PCPB appeared before PIC to respond to audit queries regarding payment of Sh16 million to a consultant.

– Business Daily