KEPHIS Builds Capacity in Southern African Plant Breeders to Raise Standards in Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability for Plants

Nairobi - African plant breeders have been urged to generate descriptors (descriptions) of plants and push them to the international arena.
Speaking to plant breeders from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia during the start of a plant breeders week long training in Nairobi, KEPHIS GM in charge of Quality Assurance Mr. Simeon Kibet also urged plant breeders to have standards which then becomes easy to train other breeders from.

The training is being conducted by KEPHIS staff from the plant variety protection office. The 22 participants are undergoing Trainer of Trainers training and are expected to teach other breeders in their home countries at the completion of their course. They will learn about Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) and the importance of plant breeders rights in Africa.
"KEPHIS has standards in terms of DUS and National Performance Trials (NPTs) hence it becomes easy for other countries to bench mark with us,” the GM said. For purposes of protection of a variety, there must be DUS tests. The International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV) of which Kenya through KEPHIS is a member states that every single plant variety has a different characteristic.”
"Kenya is now the world's largest producer of roses, because we protect the work of breeders from across the world; they have confidence that their work will be protected by KEPHIS. Once the work of a breeder is protected by KEPHIS, no multiplication can take place without the breeders consent. DUS means that every crop has a distinguishing characteristic or characteristics different from the rest."
The trainees are going through theory before field work in Nakuru.
The course has been sponsored by KEPHIS and the Centre of Phytosanitary Excellence (COPE) following a request from the Feed the Future Seed Trade Organization for Southern African officers to be trained and thereafter impart knowledge acquired to other officers in their countries.

Plant breeders from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia during the start of a plant breeders week long training in Nairobi hosted by KEPHIS and the Centre of Phytosanitary Excellence (COPE). Mr. Simeon Kibet, GM Quality Assurance (centre) represented the MD Dr Esther Kimani.

Mr. Simon Maina, the Head of Seed Certification and Plant Variety Protection at KEPHIS taking the participants through the VCU and Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability(DUS) processes as well as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA) and Southern African Development Community(SADC) regulations during the Trainer of Trainers workshop for Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia officers in Nairobi.

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