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EU increased controls on Kenyan peas and beans leads to 25% decrease in sales

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Thursday, 18 April 2013

EU increased controls on Kenyan peas and beans leads to 25% decrease in sales

A 25% decrease in Kenyan beans sales was registered in January 2013, compared to January 2012, after the European Commission decided in December 2012 to increase to 10% the frequency of pesticide residues border controls on French beans and peas imported from the country, the Fresh Produce Association of Kenya (FPEAK) claims.
In Kenya green beans are grown mainly by smallholder farmers under irrigation. According to a recent study (August 2012) an estimated 50,000 growers may be involved, mainly households with less than 2 acres of land.The fresh bean industry also employs 45,000 to 60,000 people, of whom an estimated 60 per cent are women, in commercial farms, processing, and logistical operations.
In January 2013 about 4,200MT of beans and peas in pods were exported to the EU, comprising 3,200 consignments. Out of these, about 250 laboratory tests were done; however, over 99.9% of the samples were negative, “meaning that the vast majority of Kenyan beans are compliant with the EU rules on pesticides”, FPEAK says.
Through the national food safety coordinating committee (NFSCC), Kenyan stakeholders have organized themselves to address the situation and develop long and short-terms solutions. The group is meeting regularly in Kenya and liaising with key stakeholders (including DG SANCO and donors) as they put together an action plan. Among a range of actions, this plan recognizes the need to improve and coordinate training on pesticide use throughout the sector as well as, crucially, to strengthen the national programme of residue monitoring and surveillance.
PIP is a European cooperation programme managed by COLEACP- the Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee, an interprofessional network promoting sustainable horticultural trade, gathering together ACP producers/exporters and EU importers of fruit and vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants, and other companies and partners operating in the ACP/EU horticultural industry. The programme is financed by the European Development Fund and implemented at the request of the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) Group of States. In accordance with the Millennium Development Goals, the global objective is to: “Maintain and, if possible, increase the contribution made by export horticulture to the reduction of poverty in ACP countries”.