Aug 24, 2018: The European Union (EU) has lifted the five-year ban imposed on Kenyan peas farmers.

According to Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) managing director Esther Kimani, EU’s commission saw the determination farmers had in adhering to their standards and decided to lower the checking levels to five percent. “Farmers were able to learn fast and adhered to the requirements, a thing that forced the EU to drop its checking level of percentage from 10 to five percent,” she stated.

In 2013, farmers of peas were not adhering to the EU market requirements by exceeding maximum residue limits (MRLs) on produce which was detected on entry to the EU markets. "This forced EU to slap ban on the two crops viz. sugar snaps and mange tout varieties because of the failure by exporters to confirm to the 10 percent MRLs requirement," Kimani declared.

She however noted that the county produce is still checked but randomly adding that farmers particularly small holder will not incur extra costs on their produce because of extended checks at the EU points of entry.

Horticulture Competent Authority, a committee chaired by Kephis and coordinated by the ministry of Agriculture managed to bring down the level of MRLs as well as sensitise farmers on importance of using the right chemicals and quantities.

According to data from Kephis, the country has exported 9,969,351 pods of beans and 2,375,932 for peas between January and July this year. EU is Kenya’s main market for flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs which translates to more than a Sh100 billion a year in foreign exchange.

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