The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) recently launched the quality mark for the Horticulture standard which is referenced in the Horticulture regulations of 2020.
Among the requirements is the transportation of horticultural produce particularly fruits and vegetables in a covered and well-ventilated vehicle to prevent damage, contamination and spoilage of produce.
AFA Ag. Director-General Kello Harsama has requested horticulture producers, transporters, retail outlets, importers exporters and packing facilities to familiarize themselves with the standard and to comply with the requirement.
The Authority has also approved six (6) Certification bodies to facilitate certification of compliance to the KS1758 Standard requirements.
Together with county governments the Director-General says they will from now henceforth be enforcing the following regulatory requirements:-
- The package weight of all horticultural produce shall not exceed fifty (50) kilogrammes;
- Horticultural produce shall not be stored or transported together with other material that may lead to contamination or adversely affect quality;
- Produce aggregation done on the ground along roadsides such as on Nairobi-Nakuru highway, around Soko Mjinga shall not be allowed;
- Transportation of horticultural produce particularly fruits and vegetables should be in a covered and well ventilated vehicle to prevent damage, contamination and spoilage of produce;
- Cleaning of produce using unclean water is prohibited. A good example is a trader who clean carrots on any pool of water that may be contaminated and offering for sale.
The Authority calls upon all Kenyans to demand safe and quality produce to safeguard their health and environment saying the mark of quality will be a symbol of safety to consumers.