East African Legislators Praise KEPHIS Efforts in Protecting Kenya’s Plant Resources

KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi - The East Africa Legislative Assembly-Kenya Chapter-has praised KEPHIS for setting high standards in its operations, placing the Corporation way ahead of its peers in the East Africa region.

During a courtesy call to KEPHIS headquarters in Nairobi, the 5 members - Hon. Nancy Abisai, Hon. Sara Bonaya, Hon. Saoli ole Nkanae, Hon. Mumbi Ngaru and Hon. Abubakar Zein also reiterated the importance of KEPHIS to Kenya’s economy, that of protecting the country’s plant resources through her core mandates. The legislators later toured the highly acclaimed and internationally recognized Analytical Chemistry Laboratory and saw firsthand how produce destined for overseas markets and agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and irrigation water are analyzed to ensure they meet market requirements and suitability for agriculture respectively.
The Acting MD KEPHIS Dr. Esther Kimani appreciated the MPs sentiments and specifically explained why KEPHIS has offices at almost all border points; this was necessary to ensure that unwanted plant materials as well as pests and diseases do not get into the country and affect Kenya’s plant resources.

“It is important that all those coming into the country get a Plant Import Permit (PIP) and to declare all plant materials in their possession. This ensures that we do not get unwanted pests and diseases that can wreck havoc to our agriculture,” she said. When the One Stop Border Posts are fully operational, KEPHIS would be able to further carry out her mandate, especially when fully staffed, she added.

Members of the East African Legislative Assembly with KEPHIS Ag. MD and staff when they paid a courtesy call to KEPHIS headquarters
KEPHIS also urged the MPs to hasten the ratification of the East African Community Sanitary and Phytosanitary Protocol (EAC SPS) that will promote and enhance trade and food safety across the region.

Top and above: Hon. Mumbi Ngaru and Hon. Nancy Abisai stressing various points during their visit to KEPHIS headquarters
On other matters regarding agriculture, Dr Kimani advised that the Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease which had greatly affected maize production in areas like Narok and Bomet in the past few years was now declining thanks to efforts by KEPHIS and other stakeholders in coming up with mitigation measures to address it. On Aflatoxin, KEPHIS works with other stakeholders to ensure that farmers are able to store the grain well hence reducing its occurrence.
At the conclusion of their stay, the MPs urged KEPHIS to communicate more effectively with its stakeholders on its mandate to create understanding and changed behavior.
Later, the MPs presented the Ag. MD with the East African Community flag to signify unity of the East Africa member states.

The EALA MPs present the East African Community flag to KEPHIS during their visit to the Corporation

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