Jan. 8, 2015
The horticultural industry in Kenya has launched a SGS pesticide Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) Laboratory, the only one of its kind in East and Central Africa. SGS is the leading global inspection, testing, verification and certification company with more than 80,000 employees.
The company is located in over 160 countries and operates more than 850 laboratories globally. The MRL testing facility is important for the horticultural industry in Kenya since recent quality issues with the EU have gripped the sector. “It is because of these quality issues that SGS Kenya, made a deliberate decision to set up a high end MRL lab to support the horticultural industry needs”, says Albert Stockell, the MD of SGS Kenya Limited.
Initially the sample testing process was tedious and took al long time, because some tests were taken abroad to be scrutinised and examined. This was cited as one of the major bottlenecks cited by many fresh produce exporters as frustrating their business. Stockell: “Initially, we took the samples and performed part of the analysis in Kenya and subcontracted the remaining part to SGS oversees accredited labs in Germany and Turkey, but the logistics and time involved in sending samples oversees was complicated. It was difficult to keep samples at the required sub zero temperature while in transit in order to maintain sample integrity, if one is to get reliable and undisputed lab results.”
According to Zakayo Magara, director of the Kenyan Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) the developments the industry is going through right are crucial towards the ultimate economic development of the country. “As stakeholders in this, we welcome the move that SGS has made in technology advancement for us. This will be a vital tool in our commandeering our tribulations regarding the quality as cited by European Union.
Stockell had further stressed that the new facility in Kenya is there to serve the horticultural industry and all stakeholders with technical excellence and secure integrity.