Farmers across Kenya will be able to carry out timely, professional and safe application of pesticides and other chemicals on their farms thanks to a new spray programme (SSP) launched today by the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK)
The programme entails training of spray service providers who will in turn help the farmers undertake responsible pesticide application procedures.
Speaking during the launch at the EKA Hotel in Nairobi, AAK CEO, Ms Evelyn Lusenaka said,
“The project will benefit the country immensely. It will provide employment to the youth and increase food production by ensuring that proper and timely application of pesticides and other chemicals is maintained.”
A spray service provider (SSP) is a person who has received specialized training to offer spray services in the community as a business enterprise. SSP skills that the trainees have include, soil management practices, integrated pest management abilities, the art to know and tell the classification of the various pesticides, responsible use of the pesticide and its application skills, basic record keeping, training, and facilitation.
Most small scale farmers in Kenya suffer as a result of ineffective pest control and poor use of insecticides. Although herbicides could improve the yields of farmers, many are largely responsible for pesticide poisoning and the drop in pesticide effectiveness because, they often apply pesticides without following protective measures and adherence to the guidelines on the labels. Furthermore, they are not able to distinguish genuine pesticides from dangerous ones.
The spray service providers, will be sent out to selected counties to offer in-depth knowledge and skills learned to farmers’ groups and agro vets, setting a chain that will expand to various other regions
This will help achieve one of the “Big 4 Agenda” – food security, as envisioned in the government’s plan before the year 2022. The venture also has health and environmental benefits since most farmers are vulnerable to diseases such as cancer due to overexposure to pesticides and chemicals that are toxic and harmful.
AAK together with the USAID funded Kenya Crop and Dairy Market System Development project is implementing the Spray Service Provider Programme in 10 counties of Western namely Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia. In the Nyanza region -Kisumu, Siaya, Kisii, Migori, Homa Bay and Lower Eastern Region-Kitui, Taita Taveta and aims to train over 800 SSPs.