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Agricultural supply platform announces plans to test farmers’ produce for safety

ripe banana

Twiga Foods, an agricultural market place that link farmers and vendors has announced plans to set up facilities to test fruits and vegetables for pesticide residues to ensure consumers safety.

The plan that is estimated to cost Sh23m will see Twiga becoming the first domestic company to regularly test maximum residue levels.

“Twiga Foods is committed to ensuring that all our produce adhere to international Food Safety standards. To achieve this, we have deployed initiatives such as setting up facilities to test fruits and vegetables for pesticide residues to ensure consumer safety,” said Kikonde Mwatela, Chief Operating Officer.

The testing will be done periodically to address consumer concerns over contamination of agricultural produce with agrochemicals.

The food safety initiative follows the recent signing of a $5 million (Sh500m) letter of commitment in financing from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation to expand Twiga’s distribution network.

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Averagely, the agricultural supply platform handles 130 tonnes of produce daily. The firm said in a statement besides testing samples of produce for pesticide residues, farmers will also be trained on the safe use of agrochemicals.

“Today, we source quality produce from thousands of farmers, providing them with a ready guaranteed market, and deliver from our pack houses to thousands of vendors, at prices fair to everyone,” said Mwatela.

Since 2014 when it was launched, Twiga works to address gaps in the market of agricultural produce by providing an efficient marketplace. The technology-based platform sources fruits and vegetables from 8,370 farmers across 20 counties and delivers directly to 5,226 vendors across Nairobi and its environs.

According to Mwatela Kenya loses up to 30 per cent of agricultural to post-harvest losses between the farm and the market.

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