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2,000 farmers from Meru county trained with efforts to promote food security

Over 2,000 farmers from Meru were trained on how to responsibly use pest control products to ensure food safety during the 2023 World Food Safety Day celebrations at Kaguru ATC Meru County. The farmers underwent practical training sessions on the proper use of pest control solutions to ensure food safety both globally and locally.

According to Mr Douglas Kangi, Director Crop Resource Management State Department of Agriculture, the genesis of food safety begins in the soil saying there is a need for farmers to get proper training to avoid food losses and market. Kangi added that 20 to 25% of food in the country goes to waste due to poor chemical applications, a matter that has led many farmers to count losses. Farmers complained that lack of enough extension officers in the county has contributed to poor farming and lack of know-how on pest control.

He added that farmers around the world want to produce food safely and responsibly noting that farming is an intensive job “We are here to ensure that these farming practices make sense to farmers and in the end have food safety,” said Kangi. He says matters to deal with food safety are shared responsibilities.

Eric Kimungunyi the CEO Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) says they have been at the forefront of creating awareness on the importance of producing safe food for Keny’s growing population. He says their aim is to emphasize the importance of safe food production, handling, storage and farm preparations to prevent any disease. He added that by making farmers read and understand the standard labels their products will reach the standard market to facilitate trade.

In Kenya, 75% of food production comes from small-scale farmers in rural areas. The question is: How many of the small-scale farmers are actually trained in sustainable farming techniques? It’s not only the government’s responsibility but also the responsibility of other institutions such as universities, training centres and NGOs, to provide continuous high-quality training, ensure food safety and food free of pesticide residues and protection of the environment.

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