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Faculty Of Agriculture Hands Over Bean Breeder Seeds To Kenya Seed Company
Mr. Azariah Soi, the General Manager, Simlaw Seed Company, a constituent company, of the Kenya Seed Company receives 800 kilogrammes of white label breeders seed of two bean varieties, Kenya Red Kidney and Miezi Mbili, from Prof. Agnes Mwang'ombe, principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS). The seed varieties were developed by the Faculty of Agriculture.
One of the greatest challenges for seed companies in Kenya and Africa is accessing breeders or foundation seed for certified seed production. To address this issue, University of Nairobi’s Seed Company (UNISEED) in collaboration with the Seed Enterprise Management Institute (SEMIs) project, has embarked on breeder seed production of bean varieties bred by scientists at the University.
In a ceremony presided over by Prof. Agnes Mwang’ombe, principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS), the University handed over 800 kilogrammes of white label breeders seed of two bean varieties, Kenya Red Kidney and Miezi Mbili, to Mr. Azariah Soi, the General Manager, Simlaw Seed Company, a constituent company, of the Kenya Seed Company.
Through the Plant Science and Crop Protection Department, several high yielding bean varieties have been bred and released for certified seed production for farmers in Kenya. Six of these bean varieties are licensed to the Kenya Seed Company which has entered into a memorandum of agreement with UON to commercialize the bean varieties.
Breeder’s seed production is the first stage in production of certified seed and involves rigorous quality checks by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS). Once KEPHIS is satisfied that the seed bean crop conforms to the varieties specifications then the crop is issued with a white label certificate which allows for further production of the seed to the next stage in the process of certified seed production.