Pest Control Service Products Board (PCPB) has constituted a task force committee to review toxic pesticides in Kenya. This move comes as a response to the directive issued by the Parliamentary Committee of Health following a petition to withdraw harmful toxic pesticides.

The petition was presented in 2019 by Uasin Gishu Women Representative, Gladys Boss Sholei. The MP called for the withdrawal of harmful toxic pesticides available in the Kenyan market, but banned in the European Union (EU).

The petition was also supported by the following organizations

  • Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya (BIBA-Kenya)
  • Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN)
  • Resources Oriented Initiative Kenya (RODI)
  • Route to Food Initiative (RTFI)

The task force has been tasked with internalization of the recommendations set by the Parliamentary Committee, and suggest ways of how the directives will be implemented. The pesticides mentioned in the petition will be analyzed in two stages, by the agrochemical companies and then by PCPB. The molecules will then go through both hazards and risk assessments tests.

“In response to the directives issued in the petition, we have set up a task force committee meant to internalize the directives and guide on implementation. So far the committee has held talks with the agrochemical industry and set out two-stage molecule analysis of the pesticides products: by the company and by PCPB. The analysis will include both hazard and risk assessment. The agrochemical industry has also been trained on how to do both tests,” Dr. Paul Ngaruiya , PCPB Manager in Charge of Registration of Pesticides, announced.

Dr. Ngaruiya was speaking during a virtual roundtable for journalists organized by the Route to Food Initiative where PCPB explained the milestones it has achieved towards the recommendations by the Parliamentary Health Committee.

Margaret Maumba, Assistant Manager, Compliance Services at PCPB added that food safety is an inclusive responsibility. This mandate is shared by other agencies including KEPHIS, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and the agrochemical industry.

“Let’s not forget that the responsibility of ensuring food safety doesn’t entirely lie on PCBP. Other government agencies and departments such as KEPHIS, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Health also have a part to play. To ensure that farmers and consumers are safe we need to work together. I will also like to urge farmers to come out and work with these institutions and improve their pesticides management skills as well as reporting fake agro-dealers,” remarked Magaret.

PCPB has promised to continue working in tandem with the other state departments and agencies as recommended by the Committee of Health to ensure that Kenyans health and environment are safe from harmful chemical pesticides.

In its recommendation, in December 2020 the Health Committee directed the PCPB and other relevant Government agencies to undertake an analysis of harmful pesticides in the country and withdraw them from the market within 90 days.