In response to a media report that farmers have petitioned the Kenyan parliament to review an EU policy that prompted a ban of the use of some pesticides before Kenya adopts it, Greenpeace Africa Food campaigner, Claire Nasike has said:
“Kenyan farmers deserve to know the truth about pesticides. The associations championing the use of pesticides have misled our farmers, who deserve the truth about toxic pesticides’’.
The petition in parliament is to protect farmers and consumers from harmful pesticides that have been scientifically proven to be carcinogenic, mutagenic and generally detrimental to human health.
The Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya CEO Ojepat Okisegerea and the other association members need to provide the right information to the farmers involved in the petition. This is not a call for a blanket ban on all pesticides, but rather the most toxic ones that compromise the quality of our health and environment”
Kenyans’ right to safe food has been compromised, after years of exposure to food that is high in pesticide residues. Banning these toxic pesticides is a step in the right direction to encourage farmers to embrace already-existing environmentally friendly alternatives, such as integrated pest management.
A 2016 report by the World Health Organisation states that pesticide residue in food has adverse health risks to human health. Some of the risks include cancer, effects on reproduction, immune or nervous systems. A shift to ecological farming should be encouraged at all levels of farming.