2020 The International Year of Plant Health


KEPHIS as Kenya's National Plant Protection Organization is coordinating the events in Kenya.
International Year of Plant Health 2020 (IYPH 2020) was officially declared by the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 20th December 2018.
Why an IYPH 2020?
National, regional and global plant health organizations need to raise awareness of the importance and positive impacts of plant health in addressing issues of global importance, including hunger, poverty, threats to the environment and economic development.
Why do we need to raise awareness for plant health?
· In recent years the risks of pest movement and introduction into new areas have increased dramatically.
· Increased trade in plant commodities and products and the effects of climate change provide easier opportunities for pests, weeds and disease causing organisms to enter establish and spread into new environments.
· Over the same time period, the human and monetary resources of plant health services and plant protection research and educational services have consistently decreased.
To tackle these challenges, it is essential to raise the awareness of the importance of plant health to both decision-makers and the general public.

Upcoming News & Events

Malawi Ministry Of Agriculture Officials Study Tour At KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi

KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi - Officials from the Malawi agriculture sector were in KEPHIS for a two day study tour to benchmark their operations with KEPHIS services. Dr. Wilkson Makumba, Director of Agricultural Research Services, Saphiel Chitedze, Country Manager at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa Malawi, Dr. Grace Kaudzu, Head, Seed Service Unit, Mr. John Lungu, Chairperson, Seed Trade Association of Malawi, Mr. Hermes Mauwa, Deputy Director Department of Agriculture Planning Services, Dr. Kennedy Lweya, Director of Policy and Research – Farmers Union of Malawi, Noel Sangole, Assistant Program Officer AGRA Malawi and Mr. Martin Kausi, Deputy Director Department of Crop Development- Ministry of Agriculture attended the event.  

KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani (C)), Dr. Wilson Makumba, Director of Agricultural Research Services (3rd right), other Malawi officials and KEPHIS staff after a two day study tour at KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi
The training was aimed at learning the KEPHIS mandate, Seed Acts and Regulations, how KEPHIS manages global problems such as fake seed, labeling procedures and its advantages and how to run a corrupt free seed industry in order to improve their seed industry.
Dr. Esther Kimani, MD KEPHIS, officially opened the forum by highlighting the KEPHIS mandate. She advised the officials to support breeders to come up with new varieties of seeds and multiply them so as to curb the gap of insufficient certified seeds. “Ensure people have access to high quality seeds which are free from pests and diseases to reduce economic losses.” she stated. It was also important, she added, to offer advisory services for disease management which KEPHIS caters through the analytical chemistry laboratory that provides among others water, soil and pest analyses.
Gentrix Juma, KEPHIS Seed inspector took the officials through the overview of the seed and Plant Variety Act Cap 326. She highlighted the basis of the regulatory framework which includes regional laws, international conventions/treaties, scientific guidelines, norms and standard practice. She added that seed regulations are made for control of the production, processing, testing, certification and marketing of seeds. The regulations are made to ensure reliable and adequate information is afforded to the nature, condition and quality of seed intended for sale; for preventing the sale of harmful seeds or which have not been produced in specified conditions, tested for purity or germination, or of a plant variety that has not undergone national performance trials.
She added that there are two types of labels which KEPHIS uses which are OECD labels and KEPHIS sticker labels. Packets/tins weighing two kilograms and below are labeled using the sticker labels.
Additionally, Asenath Koech, a KEPHIS inspector, enlightened the officials on phytosanitary services in relation to seed production, export and importation. She said that the Plant Import Permit (PIP) is aimed at ensuring compliance to import regulations as provided for in the Plant Protection Act CAP (324) and various international status that Kenya is party to. She added that phytosanitary activities include import certification, Pest Risk Analysis, importation under quarantine status, export certification, pest surveillance and nursery certification. Import certification regulates the importation of plants, plant products and regulated articles such as soil packaging material, propagation media and bio control agents. Export certification complies with the import standards of the country exported to and the inspection is done from the farm level to the point of exit. Nursery certification aims at regulating the spread of diseases from nurseries to the fields. Pest Risk Analyses (PRA) helps in determining the level of risk associated with the import and export of plants or products to provide mitigation measures. Pest Surveillance determines the absence or presence and distribution of pests and diseases. Types of documentation needed for international trade are Plant Import Permit and phytosanitary certificate.

Timothy Maina from mPedigree took the officials through sticker labels. He started off by highlighting that fake agro inputs and especially agrochemicals contain dangerous compounds that contaminate the soil. The end result affects farmers productivity which eventually affects the economy of the country.

Joseph Kigamwa, the KEPHIS Projects Coordinator, took the officials through KEPHIS resource mobilization. He informed them that KEPHIS mobilizes resources from USAID, EU, Netherlands, FAO/IPPC, CABI, USDA and that capacity building is focused in three areas which include human skill that is staff to stakeholders, building of laboratories complexes at headquarters and Plant Quarantine and Biosafety Station and acquiring of equipment such as lab equipment and vehicles. In addition, the Centre of Phytosanitary Excellence (COPE) has trained 2,418 participants from across Africa.
Mr. Simeon Kibet, KEPHIS GM Quality Assurance informed the officials that Africa needs to formulate a system that enhances trade. “The biggest market for Africa is Africa,” he emphasized.

Onesmus Mwaniki, head of the Analytical Chemistry and Food Safety Laboratory taking Malawi officials through several activities such as sample preparation for pesticide residue analysis and heavy metal analysis to ensure food safety


KEPHIS trains technical personnel in the horticulture industry on safe use of pesticides

KEPHIS in collaboration with USAID Feed the Future Project conducted a three day training of 50 technical personnel from the horticulture industry on safe use of pesticides to ensure food safety. The event consisted of theoretical and practical sessions that aimed at educating participants on Quality Management Systems (QMS) that aids in planning, assurance, control and improvement of systems to ensure food safety.


KEPHIS hands over High Yielding Food Crops to Mukuria Primary School in Support of School Feeding Program

Mukuria Primary School, Embu - KEPHIS through one of its core values Corporate Social Sustainability (CSS) has prepared a demonstration plot to educate parents and farmers at Mukuria Primary School in Embu County and its environs on suitable crop varieties and use of planting materials.


Celebrating the 1st Hybrid Coconut Launch in Matuga, Kwale County

Matuga, Kwale County - 1st February 2019 marked a momentous occasion for the Coconut industry in Kenya, especially to Kenya’s coastal communities as the first hybrid coconuts were transplanted from a KEPHIS managed quarantine nursery to the field in Matuga, Kwale County.


A collaboration meeting in potato seed production in line with the Big 4 Agenda

KEPHIS MD Dr Esther Kimani (4th right) with National Youth Service Director General Matilda Sakwa(centre) in a collaboration meeting in potato seed production in line with the Big 4 Agenda. KEPHIS ensures the production of
clean seed potato through laboratory diagnostic services as well as checking that seed potato produced is free from pests and diseases.


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