Kenyan government teams up with farmers to up potato quality, meet KFC standards

KENYA – The Kenyan government has teamed up with farmers from the three largest potato-producing counties in the country, setting aside Ksh 100 million for the production of new varieties (USD 880,564) to reduce the importation of potatoes subsequent to the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) controversy. In the pilot phase, the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya revealed that the Ministry is working with farmers from Nyandarua, Meru and Marakwet who are the largest potato-producing counties to cultivate the variety of potatoes needed by the market. “This is piloting before we…

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KEBS nods standards for hermetic grain storage bags

KENYA – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has given a nod to two new standards that will guide quality and safety requirements for hermetic bags designed for grain storage. Through the new standards, KEBS has addressed the use of hermetic storage for woven polypropylene bags and rigid plastic silos for the storage of dried food commodities, derived products and seeds without the use of pesticides as a preservative in storage. “As part of our contribution to food security, these standards will go a long way in ensuring that grains…

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Kenyan quarantine experts contented with Pakistan’s Tangerine quarantine facilities

KENYA – Kenyan quarantine experts have expressed satisfaction on the standards of quarantine facilities in Pakistan following a visit to evaluate the possibility of importing of Pakistani kinnow (tangerine) and mango into the country. During Pakistan-Africa trade conference in January 2020, a delegation of Pakistan Fruits and Vegetable Exporters Association (PFVA) had meetings with Kenyan importers and officials of the quarantine department. According to Waheed Ahmed, the Patron-in-Chief of the association,  they mutually agreed to explore the opportunities of export of Pakistani Kinnow to Kenya and agreed to finalize the…

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Tomato farmers put on high alert for destructive Tomato brown rugose fruit virus

KENYA – Africa’s tomato farmers have been urged to be on red alert for the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) that has been causing mayhem in most tomato-growing countries. Speaking during African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) Congress this year, Dr. Isaac Macharia, General Manager, Phytosanitary Services at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), said countries in Africa are encouraged to report the occurrence of the disease to ensure other countries prepare. He said the virus is more severe on young tomato plants and can result in 30-70% yield…

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Egerton University’s study shows Kenya risks facing food insecurity following pesticides ban

KENYA – An independent study by Egerton University’s Tegemeo Institute has shown that coffee, wheat and maize  farmers are inclined to suffer 90% yield losses if the government pushes through with the ban in popular pesticide ingredients. The ban was prompted by a bill sponsored by Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Boss Shollei, which seeks the ban of at least 200 locally used chemicals. She argues that the cancer-causing herbicides and pesticides banned in the United States and Europe were still being imported and sold in Kenya despite the health…

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Kenya sends delegation to Belgium in bid to resume mango exports to EU

KENYA – Kenya has dispatched a delegation to Brussels, Belgium’s capital, in its quest to redominate the lucrative European Union (EU) market with its mango exports. The team, led by Directorate of Horticulture and Kenya Health Plant Inspectorate Service (Kephis) officials, is steering negotiations to have the country access the market after nearly a decade of having not exported the produce to the EU. Kenya imposed a ban on export of its mangoes to Europe in 2012 for fears that the produce would be blacklisted due to high level of…

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Ministry of Agriculture vows to boost meat supply in Kenya

KENYA – The Ministry of Agriculture has vowed to scale up meat supply in the country through reforms which it said will enable it to meet the 1.5 million cattle quotas gap of meat distributed yearly. Ministry of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya, during the launch of Kenya’s first-ever meat expo revealed that already, four laws are undergoing the consultative process in parliament to improve the livestock sector. The two-day expo organized under the theme ‘safe meat for nutrition, health and wealth creation, is aimed at providing a platform…

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OFAB-Kenya honors top agricultural biotech journalists

KENYA – The Kenya Chapter of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB-Kenya) has celebrated exemplary science journalism and honored three top journalists for their contribution in promoting agricultural biotechnology at the media awards gala. During the event, Citizen TV’s agriculture reporter Denis Otieno was crowned the overall winner while Africa Business News Network’s science journalist Mercy Tyra Murengu emerged the first runner-up after winning the Print and Online Category. Radio Maisha’s reporter Faith Kutere was the second runner-up after topping the Radio Category. The trio received plaques, certificate…

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KEBS issues temporary ban to 14 flour brands over safety concerns

KENYA – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has ordered the manufacturers of 14 maize flour brands that it deemed unfit for human consumption to withdraw the products from the market. According to the bureau, the manufacturers of the 14 brands did not comply with the required standards. The affected brands include Ndovu maize flour, Prestige sifted maize, sima tamu, range corn, top white, diamond sifted maize, Bel’s organic, winnies ugali afya, family. Others are Jasiri sifted maize, Jema sifted maize, Mugambo sifted maize, Jibe maize flour and Jodari. The…

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KEBS, Agriculture Ministry report elevated cases of poultry feed contamination

KENYA – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Agriculture Ministry officials have estimated that over 80 per cent of poultry feeds on the market is contaminated with substances like sand, ash and sawdust. According to Dr Sabriano Mbae Mbauni of the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), feed adulteration is widespread, but it is more pronounced in the areas that have a high concentration of poultry and dairy cattle, which includes Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a and others. Thousands of poultry farmers in Kirinyaga County are languishing in poverty due…

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