BY:

 Attending the one health course (course that looks at the connection of human health with animal health, plant health and the environment) at the University of Copenhagen just got me thinking of my country’s food safety situation. On one hand, we are grappling with food insecurity and on the other hand high we are faced an unemployment rate of 40% (CIA estimates). These two aspects are linked to poverty and ability to choose at the market place. Therefore, the objective of people faced with this kind of situation is accessibility and affordability of food regardless of whether it is safe or not. But then, even those that can afford safe food, there is no guarantee of safety. This is a because there lacks verification mechanism to confirm products presented at the point of sale are indeed safe.

My background is regulating horticulture exports which i must say the government and private sector have done a good job in ensuring Kenya’s produce meet the export market requirements among them food safety. However, this is not the case for the locally consumed fresh fruits and vegetables which account for close to 96% of total production, only 4% is exported. The health benefits of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables are well known but if the products have microbial and chemical contaminants then the risks outweigh the health benefits. This is because some of the chemical and microbial contaminants cause chronic illnesses and have contributed to the burden of disease. .

Strategies adopted by the Horticulture Competent Authority Structure (composed of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries – State Department of Agriculture, Pest Control Products Board , Horticulture Crops Directorate , Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization and private sector representative- Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya )  have improved the quality standards of Kenyan Beans and Peas in pod for export.The joint strategy synergised institutional competencies to strengthen compliance levels of farmers and exporter through capacity building, traceability system improvement, regulatory reforms, monitoring and surveillance and communication.

The strategies adopted by the competent Authority structure can be emulated to address food safety in the domestic market. Food safety in the local market is a function of County governments and the Ministry of Health who require laboratory facilities to provide inspection services. Capacity building is needed to producers, traders, consumers and technical personnel as well as support infrastructure during production and handling of food.

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https://i2.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SAFE-FOOD.jpg?fit=1024%2C768&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SAFE-FOOD.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1#FarmersTrend#TrendingKenya Agriculture,Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service,Livestock Research Organization,Pest Control Products BoardBY: Josephine Simiyu  Attending the one health course (course that looks at the connection of human health with animal health, plant health and the environment) at the University of Copenhagen just got me thinking of my country's food safety situation. On one hand, we are grappling with food insecurity and...New generation culture in agriculture