LAUNCH OF THE NATIONAL PHYTOSANITARY WORKING GROUP (NPWG)

On Wednesday the 28th August 2013 Kenya Plant and health inspectorate service (KEPHIS) in collaboration with East African Phytosanitary launched the National phyto-sanitary working group.Kenya Flower Council (KFC) attended this function at the KEPHIS headquarters. The event involved presentation of the contribution of key stakeholders on their contribution to phyto-sanitary system in Kenya as well as the challenges they face.

The Kenya Flower Council presented compliance by flower producers to the KFC Silver standard as its contribution towards compliance of the phyto-sanitary system in Kenya. The Silver standards is ensuring compliance to the phyto-sanitary system by ensuring that all certified producers have:

•            An elaborate documented integrated pest management system that is applied on day to day basis.

•            A comprehensive pest resistance management system that is applied on a day to day basis.

•            A system in place that ensures that only plant protection products that are approved in Kenya and by the destination market are used.

•            A scouting procedure that has defined pest and disease thresholds used to determine when to have whole green house versus hot spot sprays. The procedure is used on a day to day basis.

•            Trace-ability procedure which ensures the producer can trace products between the farm and the immediate customer. This ensures the producer is in a position to carry good corrective actions in case of negative customer remarks.

•            Among others.

The NPWG was informed that the KFC and the registered producers are facing the following challenges as they implement the phyto-sanitary system is that some of the flower crops such Eryngium; gypsophila, etc are missing sufficient plant protection products which are registered by PCPB. The scope of the products registered by PCPB does not cover some of the flowers produced in Kenya. The other challenge is that there is movement of plants within the country without any guarantee of freedom from pest and disease.

KFC also informed the meeting that it is currently implementing the National Compliance Mechanism Project which when completed it shall ensure compliance by all producers across the board. We also informed them that; KFC is also benchmarking its standards; Silver, Gold, Quality Management Assurance Manual, Procedures etc to the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) which will ensure flower products from KFC certified farms are access to  the major market chains across the globe.

KFC will be a member of the NPWG. The other members will be KEPHIS, East African Phto-sanitary Information committee, FPEAK, Ministry of Agriculture livestock and Fisheries, PCPB, Plantwise, Centre of Phyto-sanitary Excellence; National Museums of Kenya, and Kenya Agricultural Research Organization (KARO). NPWG shall meet at least twice per year. The meeting prepared an action plan which with responsible organizations.

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