20 June 2023, Kenya: SciDev.Net is inviting those interested in mitigating pesticide risks in fresh fruits and vegetables in Kenya to sign-up for a webinar to debate the associated issues this Friday 23 June 2023 at 2pm East African time.
Dr Dorah Kilalo, a lecturer in the Plant Science and Crop Protection Department at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, will be joined by Mr Wachira Kaguango, Chief Executive of the National Potato Council of Kenya, for the discussion.
The experts will explore the multifactorial issues affecting the purchase, use and disposal of chemical pesticides in food production in Kenya, and recommendations for policy and practice to ensure food safety in Kenya.
Dr Kilalo will address the impact of pesticide misuse/off-label use and question the extent of the problem while Mr Kaguango will highlight experiences on usage and root causes of pesticide overuse/misuse.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are among the highly consumed commodities in Kenya.
However, pests and diseases consistently threaten the productivity of the horticultural sector, thus necessitating the use of pesticides to enhance productivity and preserve produce.
These pesticides are not carefully applied at times, consequently posing risks to food safety, and affecting the health of humans and the environment.
SciDev.Net, with the support of CABI, the parent organisation of SciDev.Net, is seeking to generate a conversation on mitigating pesticide risks in fresh fruits and vegetables in Kenya, proposing potential solutions for policy, industry, producers and other value chain actors. Expert data and views will be presented during the debate to stimulate the discussion on the topic.
The online event aims to bring together experts to discuss the multifactorial issues affecting the purchase, use and disposal of chemical pesticides in food production in Kenya, and to develop recommendations for policy and practice to ensure food safety in Kenya.
CABI-led research, recently published in the CABI Agriculture and Bioscience journal, revealed a willingness of smallholder papaya farmers in Kenya to reduce their chemical pesticide use to fight the papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus).
Researchers from CABI surveyed 383 farming households in four counties in Kenya alongside key informant interviews with eight extension agents and 30 agro-dealers, and eight focus group discussions.
They found that in a desperate attempt to control invasive alien pests’ farmers often resort to the use of broad-spectrum insecticides even though biological control is a more sustainable method of pest management that is extremely suitable in the smallholder production context found in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA).
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