Farmers can now test their produce for major markets such as European Union, where Kenyan produce finds its way to many meal tables.
This is after the government laboratory that deals with testing for presence of chemical pesticide residues of agricultural produce was re-accredited.
This means the lab's competency in obtaining reliable and credible data for plant export requirements is guaranteed.
Kenya, through Kephis, will be able to test the produce before it is exported hence building confidence in exporting countries, particularly the EU where majority of flowers, fruits and vegetables go.
Horticulture stakeholders can rest assured that the level of compliance to market access requirements is continuously being monitored therefore Kenya's flowers, fruits and vegetables, worth about Sh100 billion annually, can continue having market access to the EU thus earning the country the valuable forex.
“Re-accreditation assures of the laboratory’s competency, therefore the pesticide residue monitoring programme which is key to export to the EU meets the requirements of obtaining reliable and valid data,” said Kephis managing director, Esther Kimani, in a statement.
Kimani said farmers who would like to test their plant samples can also take their samples to the laboratory.
The lab was re-accredited after scoring satisfactorily from the South African National Accreditation System.
The quality management systems of the laboratory were tested to ensure compliance to international standards for analyses, said Kimani.
Kenya exports cut flowers, vegetables, fresh fruit, processed horticultural products, herbs and spices to international markets, mostly in the European Union.
Exports of cut flowers went up to 11,377 metric tonnes, fetching Sh7.14 billion in October 2015, from 6,443 metric tonnes worth Sh5.42 billion in October 2014, according to government data.
Some 2,406 metric tonnes of fruit fetching Sh477 million were exported in October 2015, as compared to 1,992 metric tonnes in October 2014 which fetched Sh418 million, according to information from Leading Economic Indicators 2015.
Kenya exports vegetables including baby corn, snow peas, french beans, sugar snaps, snow peas, among others to the EU.
Official data shows that vegetables fetched more earnings in 2015, with 9,201 metric tonnes worth Sh2.8 billion exported in October 2015.
In October 2014, 8,202 metric tonnes of vegetables garnering Sh1.53 billion were exported.