KENYA – The Kenya Seed Company (KSC), a State Corporation mandated to produce and market top-quality seeds, targets to expand the area under seed production to 41,000 acres from the current 33,000 acres to cope with the growing regional demand for quality seeds.  

Sammy Chepsiror, KSC Managing Director said the firm seeks to produce more seeds to service demand as well as contribute towards the country’s food security initiatives.

He revealed that, last season the company produced about 25 million kilogrammes of certified seeds and now targets more than 30 million kilogrammes to boost yields.

The demand for the seeds in Kenya and in the region is high. This season we are targeting 41,000 acres up from 31,000 last season and so far we have planted 33,000 acres of seed maize to meet the growing demand,” said Mr Chepsiror.

He attributed the demand for seeds to the provision of subsidised fertiliser by the government and the growing population that requires more food.

The MD also disclosed that a multi-agency team has stepped up a crackdown on substandard seeds in the market to protect farmers.

According to him, some unscrupulous individuals use counterfeits or packaging from established seed firms to hoodwink farmers, noting the firm has identified cases in North Rift, South Rift, and Western region.

He stated that they are working with the national government agencies to crack down on unscrupulous traders and individuals to protect farmers.

Call for the establishment of seed banks

Meanwhile, on a separate occasion, the Principal Secretary (PS) of, State Department for Crop Development, Dr. Paul Rono, has called for the establishment of a seed bank and strengthening of agricultural policies, to ensure quality seed availability and at the same time, help get rid of counterfeit seeds in the country.

The PS was speaking when he presided over a consultative meeting with over a hundred seed growers in the country, sponsored by the Kenya Seed Company in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu,

The meeting sought to deliberate on strategies, to ensure the country has enough quality seeds for the long and short rain seasons, to boost production, and to make the country food secure.

The PS indicated that the Department has realized there is a need to look at the seed system in all the value chains in the country.

He revealed that the seed growers need an additional 125,000 acres of land to produce 100 million kilos of maize seeds for the next year’s long and short rain seasons.

The Consultative meeting with stakeholders, seed growers and the team of experts, came up with a solution that there is a need to look at the Policy as a government, to deliberate on the pricing model for seed farmers to give them the most competitive prices, so that they can produce quality seeds in variety and quantity.

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