From a success story to a tale of daily struggle: The case of leafminer control and compliance with food safety standards in Kenya’s snowpea/horticultural industry
Gitonga, Z. M
Okello, J. J
Ritho, C. N
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Kenyan horticultural industry has often been cited as success story because of the way it has successfully responded to pest challenges and notably the international food safety standards. However, the industry faces a new challenge that emanates from invasion by quarantine leafminer which has recently become a pest of economic importance in Kenya. Controlling leafminer poses serious challenges due to its biology and quarantine status in Kenya’s’ main fresh produce market. This paper examines farmers’ awareness of the leafminer pest and challenges faced by farmers to control it. There is high leafminer awareness among farmers and that pesticides are not effective in controlling it. Majority of snow pea growers use chemical control coupled with pest scouting. However, the timing of chemical control is poor as it occurs when the pest in its larval stage is buried in plant tissue. Results further show that farmers whose production practices are monitored for compliance with GlobalGAP use fewer control strategies. The implication of this study is that leafminer is likely to become a serious challenge unless integrated leafminer management strategy is developed and farmers educated on methods of identifying it in its early stages.