KENYA INTRODUCES NEW SEED-VERIFICATION METHOD

NAIROBI, The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) has rolled out a new farmer-friendly method of seed verification to enable farmers buy quality certified seeds for high productivity.

The technology will enable real-time detection of fake seeds so that farmers can easily verify the efficacy of the seed they buy from plant breeders by sending through their mobile phones a 12-digit code to 1393 for verification.

KEPHIS Managing Director Dr. Esther Kimani said Sunday that this method of certification is aimed at protecting unsuspecting farmers from unscrupulous breeders and seed merchants.

Farmers meanwhile have been advised to desist from purchasing hybrid seeds without a verification code. In the past farmers have had to suffer loss of produce after planting seed which often had low germination rates and ended up with poor yields.

In other cases, fake seeds have been known to spread viral diseases, including Maize lethal necrosis, a pathogen which affects cereal and maize production in many parts of Kenya.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK