Promotion of post-harvest disinfestation treatment in Kenya and Uganda: Facilitation of market access for mango, avocado, French bean and bell pepper

Mango, avocado, French bean, and bell pepper are economically important horticultural crops in sub- Saharan Africa, serving both as food and cash crops for millions of growers, the majority of whom are smallholders, and other value chain actors. In Kenya and Uganda, these crops have a particular socio-economic significance as they offer employment opportunities particularly for women and youth who contribute to over 80% of the labor force. Furthermore, these commodities provide vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that nourish the impoverished rural communities. However, the production of these commodities is constrained by several insect pests, key among them being fruit flies particularly, Bactorocera dorsalis, thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis and false codling moth (FCM), Thaumatotibia leucotreta, with yield losses between 60-90%. In addition to the direct damage, these insects being A1 quarantine pests, they restrict access to regional and international export markets for affected crops. Over the years, through successful public private partnerships (PPP), icipe has developed, validated and disseminated pre-harvest eco-friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) packages targeting these pests. These technologies have been adopted by over 100,000 mango and French bean growers resulting in significant reduction in insect pest infestation and enhancing the yield and quality of the produce at the farm level. However, being quarantine pests, the acceptance thresholds for presence of these pests in exported products is extremely low in export markets. One of the major requirements of many importing countries is that fresh produce that are known to be host for quarantine pest be subjected to standard postharvest dis-infestation quarantine treatment, that satisfies specific requirements to ensure that the risk of introducing unwanted pests is minimised or totally eliminated. Internationally, this standard has been set at 99.9968% (Probit 9). To this effect, the project is developing protocols for treating mango, bell pepper and French beans against B.dorsalis, FCM and thrips respectively. The protocols will be used to facilitate access to inaccessible lucrative export markets requiring assurance that exported commodities are indeed free from quarantine pests. The project is also working with women and men exporters of fruits and vegetables who will establish facilities for disinfesting fruits and vegetables using hot water treatment technology. The overall objective of this project is to enhance food and nutritional security and improve incomes for better livelihoods of smallholder fruit/vegetable growers in Kenya and Uganda.


  • SIDA through Bioinnovate Africa Programme


  • Kibwezi Agro Limited, Makueni County, Kenya.
  • National Agricultural Research Organization, National Agricultural Research Laboratories Institute, Post-Harvest Unit, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Sulma Foods Limited Kampala, Uganda.