The use of hazardous pesticides to produce food has come under increased scrutiny around the world and in Kenya. The Route to Food Initiative continues to champion for methods of food production that mitigates the risks associated with exposure to toxic pesticides. We also join hands with the growing number of people in Kenya supporting agroecological transformation of the food system, increased investments in affordable biopesticides and training in Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
The damage caused by toxic pesticides is far-reaching affecting farmers using these products, consumers in urban markets, the birds and bees that support our ability to grow food, and the water and soils that support life. These effects are backed by evidence and science.
Safe food for all Kenyans is enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution, 2010. The right to food is one of our economic and social rights, which the state is required to take steps to achieve. As per Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya, the government has the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the realisation of the right to food for all Kenyans.
However, food safety is one of the fastest rising concerns not only in Kenya but globally. With increased pressure to produce more food, there are various threats to food safety throughout the entire food system.
Consumer Grassroots Association which advocates for consumer protection, has delved into the matter of food safety in Kenya in a survey done in partnership with Route to Food Initiative (RTFI). The purpose of the survey was to assess the level of awareness and concern amongst consumers on issues of food safety. The survey focused on three counties: Kirinyaga, Kajiado and Nairobi. As per the survey, majority of the respondents (89%) felt that their counties are not doing enough to ensure food safety. As consumers, this survey is relevant because our health begins with what we eat.