× Digital News Videos Opinion Special Reports Lifestyle Central Coast Eastern Nairobi North Eastern Nyanza Rift Valley Western Business News Stocks Financial Standard Africa Asia America Europe Weird News Editorial Commentary Letters Crazy World Features Entertainment Money & Careers Health & Science Sci & Tech Home & Away Generation Next Cartoon Education Pointblank Environment Travel & Destination Columns Kipkoech Tanui uReport Kiambu Murang'a Nyandarua Kirinyaga Nyeri Baringo Bomet Elgeyo Kajiado Kericho Laikipia Nakuru Nandi Narok Samburu Trans Nzoia Turkana Mombasa Kwale Kilifi Tanariver Taita Taveta Kakamega Vihiga Bungoma Busia Siaya Kisumu Homabay Migori Kisii Nyamira Nairobi Uasin Gishu West Pokot Sunday Magazine The Hague Trial Kenya @ 50 Education and Training Health and Environment Insurance and Financial Security Housing Current Affairs Humour Makau Mutua David Oginde Clay Muganda Comand Your Morning Mohamed Wehliye Wednesday Life Alexander Chagema Arts & Culture Kamotho Waiganjo Barrack Muluka Xn Iraki Urban Rights - By Steve Ouma Branding Voice KCB Fredrick Ogola Sunday Magazine Wanja Kavengi Njoki Kaigai David Oginde Ken Opalo Daisy Maritim Houghton Irungu Hustle News Group Stages Round of 16 Quarter Finals Semi Finals Finals Third Place play-offs Opinion Dr Pesa Podcasts Round Table Sepetuko Eve Woman Ramadhan Special Fact Check Correction Explainers The Standard Insider Blog E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Fight against fake seeds bearing fruit, says Kephis official

By Joseph Muchiri | July 20th 2019 at 03:14:31 GMT +0300

Embu Agriculture executive Annie Nyaga and Kephis Quality Assurance General Manager Simeon Kibet (right) inspect various crops during a farmers’ field day at Rwika in Mbeere South. [Joseph Muchiri, Standard]

The fight against fake seeds is bearing fruits due to the Mulika Mbegu Mbaya campaign by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) an official has said.

Kephis Quality Assurance General Manager, Simeon Kibet said the level of fake seeds in the market has fallen from 40 per cent when they started the campaign to the current two per cent.

He told farmers to buy seeds from registered companies and used a unique code on the packets to verify their authenticity.

“Farmers should buy certified seeds only from the companies that we have registered. They should scratch the Kephis logo on the seeds packet to find a number that when sent through SMS to 1393 will establish the exact variety, its producer, the batch and its lifespan.

“Also, if the seeds fail to germinate or have poor germination rates, they should report to us. Through this method we have beaten the fake seeds and are working to eliminate them,” he said.

He urged county governments to bolster the fight against the fake seeds by working with farmers to flag off seeds and help farmers report to Kephis.

Kibet was speaking during a farmers' field day organised by Kephis, Embu County and other stakeholders at Rwika in Mbeere South, Embu County.

Kibet said Kephis has released better and higher-yielding varieties of sorghum, pearl and finger millet, green grams, cowpeas amaranthus and vegetables suitable for Mbeere and other semi-arid parts of the country.

Mbeere residents currently face food shortage due to massive crop failure owing to insufficient rains during the March-April season.

 “The reality of climate change has resulted in delayed and below-average rainfall and higher than normal temperatures hence the new crops for nutrition and food security. It is estimated that if farmers plant these crops, then their yields could increase by 10 per cent,” he said.

Embu Agriculture Executive Annie Nyaga said the new certified varieties of drought-resistant crops introduced by Kephis and county government, the crops will withstand less rainfall and mature faster.

During the field day, farmers recounted that they were facing unprecedented losses due to the emergence of diseases and pests such as Fall Army Worm, tuta absoluta, fruit flies, mealybugs and spider mites.

Nancy Muthoni, from Kimangaru area, said FAW infestation for the last two consecutive years had devastated her maize crop.

Ms Nyaga said they were working with relevant government agencies to control the disease and pests and outbreaks.

“We are also advising farmers to ensure they use certified seeds for quality and disease-free seeds and also report any incident of disease or pest outbreak,” she added.

Read More