Kenya Seed Systems Assessment Tool Validation Workshop Session
The importance of quality seeds has been recognized since time in memorial. Good seed in good soil yields abundantly. Seed quality has been treated as sacred, being an important factor in the improvement of agriculture. Although the importance of quality seeds was recognized in ancient agriculture, the need for organized seed production systems was identified only at the beginning of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the production, distribution and adoption of quality seeds is still a challenge in most countries, Kenya amongst them. The government of Kenya and other key stakeholders has put in place various supportive measures to improve production and distribution of improved varieties to farmers for improved production, productivity and food security.
Among them is Kenya Seed Systems Assessment Tool for identifying gaps in the seed system and making recommendations. AGRA has been implementing the Seed Systems Assessment Tool (SeedSAT) program in the first four African countries, namely Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Ghana. The assessment adopted the use of eight thematic areas to assess the status and health of the seed system.
The eight thematic areas are as follows: 1) seed markets and distribution; 2) early generation seeds; 3) quality commercial seed production; 4) quality assurance; 5) farmer awareness and participation; 6) breeding, variety release, and maintenance; 7) policy royal and regulatory; and 8) national planning and coordination. Each of these thematic areas was critically assessed through a lens of a set of indicators and gaps were identified for action.
Through this initiative, a strategic plan on improving seed systems in the country will be drawn and implemented. NPCK participated in Kenya Seed Systems Assessment Tool Validation Workshop, which took place at the Movenpick Hotel in Westlands on May 23rd, 2022. The workshop was convened by AGRA with the objective of validating the outcome of the Kenya seed systems assessment tool and recommendations. KEPHIS, KALRO, STAK, KENAFF, the National Government, Kenya Seed Systems, universities, and seed growers were among those present.