The Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) works as a Product Steward to minimize the risks and maximise the benefits from crop protection products. Its outreach activities span the entire life cycle of crop protection products, from formulation to empty packaging, in order to safeguard human health and the environment. The association is also committed to securing safe and plentiful food production through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that combines biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools to minimise economic, health and environmental risks. This emphasis on raising yields and food production has become more important as Kenya faces greater setbacks from climate change, rising levels of invasive pests, and an expanding population. Our stewardship commitments drive the following activities:
(a) Responsible Pesticide Use
AAK trains pesticide users, extension agents, agrodealers and manufacturers in the responsible use of pesticides, covering every aspect from understanding and following labels and wearing the correct protective clothing, to harvesting, empty container management and all other aspects of pesticide use.
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(b) Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
The association provides training in integrated pest management and a rich library of educational materials and guides to support the use of the lowest-risk pest control options at all times.
In recognition of IPM as a sustainable means of reducing pest losses, AAK and its members continue to provide practical solutions to farmers which are IPM compatible. These include biological products, mechanical solutions as well as IPM compatible pesticides.
AAK’s training curriculum also emphasizes the adoption of IPM practices to sustainably manage pests and reduce pesticide resistance.
(c) Spray Service Providers
AAK provides professional training in applying and handling pesticides to selected farmers so they can provide low-cost services across their communities as Spray Service Providers (SSPs). The benefits of the association’s SSP programme are:
- Employment creation at the grassroot level
- Reduced farmer exposure to pesticides
- Adherence to recommended dosage rates
- Observance of PHI for safer food
- Reduced counterfeits due to a closed supply chain
- Integration of IPM and Resistance Management through SSP advisory services
- Enhanced container management and awareness creation at farmer level
Watch the VIDEOS: Role of SSP:
(a) Empty Pesticide Container Management
To mitigate risks to human health and the environment from the careless disposal of empty pesticide containers, AAK has, since 2015, put in place a network of used container collection centers. These are now being scaled up countrywide ahead of Kenya’s impending Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations. The collected packaging is incinerated in line with global best practices.
(e) Obsolete Stock Management
Stocks of pesticides that expire or are deregistered by PCPB can pose a risk to human health and the environment, for which reason AAK routinely audits, collects and destroys Kenya’s obsolete stocks. Since 2014, the association has disposed of over 240 tonnes of obsolete stocks ensuring our environment is safer for the communities where they are used.
(f) Poisons Management
AAK has a dedicated Poison Information Centre which can be accessed through 2 toll free lines- 0800730030 and 0800720021. The lines are manned 24 hrs a day and offer support in the management of poisoning cases and link to networks that will provide training and surveillance. The Poison Information and Management Programme is an initiative of AAK in collaboration with the Pest Control Products Board and is domiciled and supported by Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
(g) Resistance Management
The rate of discovery of new and safer pesticide molecules has not kept pace with the rate at which pesticide resistance has reduced products in the farmers’ toolbox. In order to mitigate this situation, AAK is at the forefront of advocating for practices and regulations to ensure farmers still have options to reduce the ever increasing threat from pests.
(h) Anti – Counterfeit campaigns
The presence of counterfeit pesticides damages the agricultural sector in Kenya through:
- Loss of income to manufacturers
- Loss of yields and quality by farmers
- Health and environmental risks to the users of counterfeits
- Loss of income to the government.
AAK runs awareness programmes to protect end users from the negative effects of counterfeited pest control products. We also provide accreditation, to ensure agrodealers are selling only approved products and build capacity building among farmers so that they can identify and avoid counterfeit products. In addition, member companies are accredited by AAK and PCPB to ensure they deal only in genuine products.