Kenya says taking action to curb residue chemicals in EU exports


This is according to the country’s agriculture minister.

The EU set a deadline of Sept. 30 for Kenya to cut the residue chemicals in exports, to comply with the EU’s guidelines, or risk sanctions on exports of its cut flowers, fruit and vegetables.

(READ MORE: Kenya horticulture exporter’s position threatened)


Kenya earned 83.4 billion shillings (943.97 million dollars) from horticulture exports last year, the ministry of planning said. The EU bloc is its main export market.

The sanctions will include closer inspection of Kenyan exports by the EU and may ultimately lead to a ban.

Agriculture Minister Felix Koskei told Reuters Kenya was complying with the EU’s demands for a reduction of pesticide residue in fresh produce.

“We have done what they wanted us to do,” Koskei told Reuters late on Wednesday, adding officials were in talks with the EU.

“We have given them the action programme as requested and we are actually fixing the problem,” he said.

Measures taken include the banning of the use of two chemicals, which Koskei did not name, on farms, as well as increasing staff who ensure exporters complied with the rules, both on farms and at the point of exit at airports and seaports.

Last week, Koskei asked the heads of two government agencies tasked with ensuring the quality of farm produce to go on leave, to allow investigations to be carried out on why Kenya had not met the EU’s rules.

(READ MOREKenya flower industry under threat from delayed EU agreement)

Those agencies were the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA).