Roy Lumbe @PeopleDailyKe
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) has spread its wings to four southern African countries where it will train seed inspectors on the development of new improved and high-quality seed varieties.
The trainees — 22 officers from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi— already undertaken a week-long crash programme at the Inspectorate’s Nakuru region field station. The seed inspectors attached to The Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project (Seed Trade Project) are being sponsored by the USAid Foodscap Project.
Located in Gaborone in Botswana, Pretoria in South Africa, and Lusaka, Zambia, the Seed Trade Project supports activities in three Feed the Future focus countries: Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia; and is also active in Zimbabwe, an aligned Feed the Future country.
Kephis Nakuru Seed Inspector Wilson Sitienei said the training is aimed at building capacities of public seed certification agencies, public phytosanitary inspection and quarantine for seed pests and diseases.
The participants were also trained on private seed inspection and certification services, improved customs handling and reporting of seed traded across southern African states’ borders.
“Seed testing is part of seed certification process and it ensures that the seed that reaches the farmer is free from deleterious seed-borne diseases and noxious weeds,” he said.