KEBS gives nod to new code of conduct for Miraa trade
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has approved a new code of practice to guide the country’s sanitary production and distribution of Khat (miraa).
The code of practice was developed in cooperation with the Ministries of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED), Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives – Crop Directorate, Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), Pharmacy and Poisons Boards (PPB), Government Chemist, and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).
According to the new Kenya National Workshop Agreement (KNWA) – KNWA 2940: 2021, Miraa (Khat) industry Code of Practice, operators in the miraa supply value chain, such as miraa growers, propagators, aggregators, transporters, shippers, and cargo handlers, must observe hygiene practices, ensure sanitary operations, and comply with food packaging requirements.
They will also be required to keep relevant records and a labeling system that demonstrate traceability, as well as to adhere to relevant regulations such as worker health, safety, and welfare.
“The code of practice will ensure hygienic production and handling from the farms to final distribution channels.” KEBS Managing Director Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini said on Monday “This will facilitate businesses to meet market and pre-export sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.”
Miraa, grown in Meru and Embu counties, was approved as a cash crop in Kenya under the Crop Act 2013 No. 16 with an amendment in 2016.
Concerns about psychological dependence or addiction caused by long-term use of Miraa, among other things, have led to the crop’s prohibition in some countries.
Other challenges in the sector include unsanitary handling of Miraa and its products, which poses safety risks to consumers.
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