Farmers in Kenya are exposed to counterfeit pesticide products that are rampant in the market. This is according to Patrick Amuyunzu, Chairperson of the Agro-chemical Association of Kenya (AAK).
AKK estimates that the country losses between a 100-120 billion annually from the trade of counterfeit pesticides products.
“Over 15 to 20 per cent of agrochemicals being distributed in Kenya today are fake and this has been facilitated by the fact that unscrupulous dealers have devised a way of selling these products by generating labels similar to the genuine products,”says Amuyunzu.
He was speaking during the risk mitigation workshop for its members and other stakeholders taking place in Nairobi.
The workshop is meant for enhancing the dialogue on pesticide risk management in the industry.
The government and International Governmental Organizations’ stakeholders seek to prioritize critical issues and to develop mitigation plans to prevent unacceptable risks.
Like other in countries, current regulations that govern pesticides require demonstrating the safety and efficacy of products before they are granted registration and sales licensing.
“Once a product is registered, companies that commercialize them must work with government and others to continuously evaluate the effectiveness, safety and responsible use of their products through appropriate stewardship actions,” says Mr Amuyunzu.
AAK has collaborated with authorities to develop materials and to promote training programs on Integrated Pest Management. This which includes the responsible use of pesticides, to maximize benefits and minimize risks to users, the public and the environment.
The two-day conference seeks to harmonize the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals which strives to promote sustainable agriculture, well-being of the farmers and achieve food security.
“This is part of the continuing industry commitment and effort to the sustainable use of pesticides in the context of the UN Environment led multistakeholder initiative to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and its critical importance for the delivery of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals,” adds Mr Amuyunzu.
Over the years local agrochemicals suppliers have been advocating for self-regulation to step up the fight against counterfeit pesticides products.