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KEPHIS and the Seed Industry Launch Seed Sticker Labels for Quality Assurance and Food Security

ASK showgrounds, Nakuru- KEPHIS and the seed industry have developed seed sticker labels that will going forward, assure farmers that the seed they purchase from agro-vet shops have been certified by KEPHIS.

Speaking when he officially launched the labels at ASK Showgrounds in Nakuru, Agriculture Principal Secretary, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe noted that the label is a quality assurance mark that will indicate to the farmer that the seed they are purchasing has gone through the rigorous certification process and will give them maximum crop yields, all other factors remaining constant. Dr. Lesiyampe noted that seed is the most basic input in agricultural production, on which the effectiveness of other agricultural inputs is determined. "The aim of the labels is to ensure that farmers purchase certified seed, thus enhancing food availability in Kenya," he stated. The sticker label will serve as a mark of quality for all seed containers 5 kilograms and below.

Upon scratching, the cloud based solution creates a unique 12 digits number that is hidden under an opaque layer. The farmer than sends this code to 1393 and receives the following information: name of seed company, species, variety, lot number, class and testing date. The costs for the service have been met by the service provider, hence the farmers test the certification of the seed for free of charge on any mobile network. The label will not be easy to counterfeit or re-use seed. Moreover, farmers are to scratch all seed packets that they purchase.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Dr. Richard Lesiyampe (centre) with KEPHIS MD Dr Esther Kimani (left) sending the 12 digit code on a seed packet to 1393. The seed sticker label is a quality assurance mark to farmers that the seed they purchase has been certified by KEPHIS

Agriculture Principal Secretary Dr Richard Lesiyampe scratches the seed sticker label on a seed packet. Going forward, farmers are urged to scratch the sticker label to ascertain that the seed they have purchased has been certified by KEPHIS

Agriculture Principal Secretary Dr Richard Lesiyampe (centre, in dark suit) admires a seed sticker label on seed packets during the official launch of the seed sticker labels. Looking on are KEPHIS MD Dr Esther Kimani (right) and other stakeholders

Kenya’s seed sector has registered rapid growth in the last 10 years with an increase in the number of registered seed companies, from 50 in 2007 to 135 currently. The volume of seed traded has also increased considerably with 46 metric tonnes certified in the 2016/2017 financial year. Over the years, KEPHIS has collaborated with the seed industry to ensure that quality seed is availed to the farming community. However, this has not gone without the challenge of counterfeit seed which poses a major threat to the growth of the industry and to food security in the country.

Effective October 2017, all seed companies are required to have the sticker labels on their packers or containers.



Farmers Field Day Raises Profile of Potato as Crop for Economic Growth and Food Security

MoloKEPHIS held its second potato field day in Molo County, continuing to inform, educate and promote the tuber as an important food security crop in the country. The event, held at the Agricultural Development Corporation Farm in Molo, urged farmers to explore the various varieties of potatoes on display and grow them either for chips and crisps.

Since 2013, KEPHIS in collaboration with local and international breeders has released (made available for multiplication) 52 potato varieties. These include Ambition, Laura, Lady Amarilla, Derby, Markies, Sagitta, Saviola, Musica, Royal, Jelly, El Mundo, Faluka, Challenger, Evora, Panamera, Rodeo, Sifra, Voyager, UNICA, Konjo, Carolus, Zafira, Milva, Connect, Sarpo Mira, Mayan Gold, among others. However, Shangi controls about 70% of the market. The varieties are for chips and crisps production. Many international hotel chains and restaurants have set shop in the country and have quality standards to adhere to, hence need suitable potato varieties to produce their food. The released varieties meet some of these quality standards; there are also table varieties for chips and crisps. This in essence means that these hotels and restaurants do not have to import potato; business people can multiply the released varieties. The released varieties are resistant to diseases other than Bacterial Wilt. Released varieties have also created the need for elevated technologies. For instance, using machines for planting, harvesting and development of cold storage facilities. Molo, in Nakuru County is one of the country’s top producing potato counties.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Suera Farm and Kisima farm are some of the potato breeders that showcased their varieties to farmers, students and other stakeholders who attended the event.


Farmers, students and other stakeholders during the field day


Lady Rosetta, Shangi and Sherekea were some of the potato varieties on display during the Molo field day


KEPHIS Wins Big at the 2017 Nairobi_International Trade Fair






President Uhuru Kenyatta presents the trophy for the Corporation that best demonstrated strategies of international trade and exports to Prof Ann Muigai, a member of the KEPHIS Board of Directors, during the 2017 Nairobi International Trade Fair


President Uhuru Kenyatta admiring the certificate presented to KEPHIS for the Corporation that best demonstrated the best strategies of international trade and exports during the 2017 Nairobi International Trade Fair. Prof Ann Muigai, a member of the KEPHIS Board of Directors (right) looks on


Prof Ann Muigai of the KEPHIS Board of Directors walks away with the trophy presented for the Corporation that best demonstrated strategies of international trade adn exports during the 2017 Nairobi International Trade Fair. The trophy was presented by President Uhuru Kenyatta.






Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is a regulatory body established under KEPHIS Act No. 54 of 2012 whose mandate is to assure the quality of agricultural inputs and produce to promote food security and national growth.


Potato Production Set to Increase as 52 Varieties Released by KEPHIS and Breeders

Kitale - Trans Nzoia County is Kenya's bread basket, known for growing predominantly maize, which is Kenya's staple food. However, maize production in the area and in other counties has faced pests and disease challenges. Top of mind is the fall army worm that has affected many counties and the Maize Lethal Disease that affected the crop a few years ago.



Riat, Nyatike Constituency - Riat is an area in Nyatike Constituency near Sito Valley. Farmers in the valley grow sugarcane (seed cane), bananas, beans, maize, kales, watermelon, groundnuts and mangoes. There are streams that flow through the valley all year round. The region is also in close proximity to Lake Victoria. (Sito is the dholuo corruption of the word Store, meaning the valley has abundance of food).



KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi - Propagators and exporters of plants for planting have been urged to thoroughly understand the market requirements of importing countries to avoid interceptions of their produce. Addressing over 50 participants at Headquarters, KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani advised that the market requirements of the key European Union Market, for instance, where most of Kenya's horticultural produce is exported, are stringent and dynamic, hence exporters need to be always updated so their produce reaches the destination.


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