Kenya’s local rice industry is facing a rising issue of counterfeit basmati rice. To combat this issue, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is collaborating with farmers, suppliers, researchers, and government bodies to safeguard the industry. They are also partnering with local universities and international researchers to create innovative solutions such as advanced sensor technologies and blockchain-based traceability systems to identify fake grains.
The use of these cutting-edge methods empowers consumers to verify the authenticity and quality of the basmati rice they purchase, which fosters trust and drives demand for genuine, unadulterated products. Advanced scientific methods such as nucleic acid drives and DNA-based techniques are being used to ensure the authenticity and integrity of rice varieties.
Rice is the most important grain for human nutrition and caloric intake worldwide, and it is a major staple food in Kenya. Therefore, it is crucial to prevent adulteration, and one way to do so is to accurately and quickly identify the rice variety. Utilizing advanced scientific techniques will help safeguard the genetic diversity of basmati rice genotypes commonly grown in Kenya, which can lead to the development of high-yielding, high-quality, and aromatic varieties that will benefit Kenyan farmers and strengthen the nation’s food security.
Educational campaigns are being implemented by KEBS to raise awareness among farmers and suppliers about the long-term consequences of basmati rice adulteration. These campaigns provide practical guidelines on best practices for harvesting, processing, and marketing basmati rice, ensuring that Kenyan farmers and suppliers can thrive in a competitive global market.
KEBS laboratory analysts have also developed advanced methods to detect and quantify basmati rice adulteration. These methods include the use of DNA-based and bio-chemical techniques, which allow standards bodies like KEBS to determine exact blending percentages as per East African and Kenyan Standard KS2086-2009 and KS2087-2009 ratios.