Kenya could lose up to 100 billion shillings in horticulture exports due to some of the pesticides being used to control locusts.
According to the Fresh Produce Consortium CEO Ojepat Okisegero, some of Kenya’s key horticulture markets have started raising issues about pesticides being used to control locusts.
Players in the agro-chemical industry are calling on the government to liaise with agricultural experts in the locust control exercise noting that some chemicals being used to contain the invasive pests could cost Kenya horticultural products markets.
Exporters say they have received concerns from the European market that some of the pesticides being used to contain desert locusts are harmful raising fears that some of Kenya horticultural products might be banned in some markets.
The Fresh Produce Consortium says they have been closely monitoring the use of pesticides in Kenya with the aim of ensuring that no banned pesticide is used in the country.
They say making noise to scare the locust is counterproductive since it only serves to speed up their migration to other parts of the country.
They called for training of pesticide handlers to prevent abuse of pesticides by farmers that could affect the quality and safety of food.