Following the discovery of pesticide residues above the legal limit known as Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) in previous shipments, the European Union began testing 10 per cent of all Kenyan exports of green beans and peas in 2012, leading to a decrease of exports.
The software, farmforce (FF), has been backed by the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) and government of Switzerland, and will provide full traceability of the use of chemicals for the 50,000 farmers throughout the growing cycle, reported The Star.
Marco Ferroni, from the foundation, said: “FF will facilitate the documentation of disease and pest detection, prescription of chemicals, the reconciliation of chemicals used against warehouse stock levels and the recording of application details including dosage and operator."
Ferroni added the application will also alert field staff whenever the compliance rules were broken such as the pre-harvest interval is not observed.
The use of the application starts from the field where the field officers enter the data via a mobile phone, making it immediately available online for management to address compliance issues.
SFSA has been developing the mobile technology for the past two years and according to them the technology will go a long way to improve production and compliance with food safety standards, while linking farmers to formal markets.
Wilson Songa, Kenya’s agriculture secretary, said: "70 per cent of farmers in Kenya have mobile phones and this technology can work in the management of farm produce and meet with the much needed standard as expected."