KEPHIS Initiates Process of Training Private Seed Inspectors for Food Availability

KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi – KEPHIS has started the process of training and authorizing private seed inspectors who will carry out inspections of seed crops countrywide. 19 representatives from seed companies namely Kenya Seed Company, Pioneer Hybrid, Agribase, Dryland Seed, East Africa Seed, Agricultural Development Corporation and Gicheha Farm are attending the two week training at KEPHIS Headquarters that includes theory and practicals.

The seed industry has grown tremendously over the years from a single seed company before 1980 to over 120 registered seed companies currently. This has resulted in great volumes of seed that require to be certified by KEPHIS. The training will therefore build capacity to the participants in the production, inspection and testing of quality planting material and promote accessibility of affordable seed by farmers.
Currently, the global trend is geared towards creating an enabling environment for authorization. Moreover, the Government of Kenya through the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy recognizes the importance of accessibility and affordability of farm inputs, including seed, for sustainable agriculture development. Further, the government provides for the growth in agriculture through encouraging authorization of private entities by facilitating capacity building for stakeholders. The objective of authorization therefore is to complement the efforts of KEPHIS in enhancing efficiency in the seed certification process. Authorization will also create an enabling environment for effective participation of both the public and private sectors in the production, inspection and testing of quality planting material and promote sustainable access of affordable seed.
At the end of the training, the participants are expected to be competent private/public persons who can perform specific seed certification aspects as stipulated in the Laws of Kenya. Applicants meeting the requirements will be selected, trained and examined by KEPHIS to confirm their skills and knowledge in the areas they will have applied. Only persons who will pass the examination will be considered for authorization.  The authorized person(s) will carry out the certification activities in their areas of authorization when such activities arise.

KEPHIS will continue with seed certification in addition to conducting audits, monitoring and surveillance of inspected crops.

KEPHIS Acting MD Dr. Esther Kimani (6th left) with representatives of the seed industry at KEPHIS headquarters, who are attending a two week training on seed certification. KEPHIS has started training and building capacity to private inspectors who will carry out inspections of seed crops countrywide

Addressing the participants, KEPHIS Ag. MD Dr. Esther Kimani said that training private inspectors is part of the implementation of goals for farmers to have quality seeds as envisioned in Vision 2030 and integrity is key for authorization to be a reality. “What we are training you on requires very high integrity. You should practice ethical standards to promote food availability and security; do not compromise the issue of seed, you should at all times approve only high quality seed” she stated.
KEPHIS General Manager, Quality Assurance Mr. Simeon Kibet added, “Integrity is important and you must be trusted to give good results in order to put good inputs into the market,” he said.

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