Seed Industry In Kenya Case Study

1421 Words 6 Pages
For a food secure nation, Kenya still has to inject more into quality seeds
Poor quality of the seed used translates to a small cost that is incurred to sustain a well fed economy. The farm yields diminish and the economic losses to the farmers are likely to be much greater.
By Juma Chrispinus
Farm inputs amongst small scale farmers including seeds, agrochemicals and fertilizers are key in improving agricultural yield. In order to achieve considerable yields, small scale farmers should be able to adopt good agricultural practices and have access to inputs. However, access to and eventually the use of the right inputs remain a challenge in areas where the field extension officers are hardly available, and as such farmers revert to using counterfeit
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The alliance was projected to help enhance the business competitiveness of seed companies and value chain enterprises in Eastern and Southern Africa. ASIESA was also mandated to strengthen and establish national seed trade associations for the efficient coordination of seed related issues. This is what led to the revamping of the Seed Trade Association of Kenya (STAK) with its objectives, among others, is to promote the use of improved quality seed by conforming to national and international quality standards.
In concerted efforts by both the government and the private sector to shield the farmer from the malicious seed dealers, MbeguChoice was recently developed in partnership with the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and Kenyan crop seed companies, with the support from Kenya Markets Trust.
The internet dependent application allows Kenyan farmers, local agro dealers, and extension workers to enter basic information, like their county of residence, crop, season (short or long), and desired crop characteristics, such as drought tolerance and disease or pest resistance. MbeguChoice eventually generates a list of suitable seed varieties along with the names of the seed companies producing and distributing them.
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It has not been easy for a farmer, who is not aptly informed, to ascertain the right quality of the seeds they are using in their farms. In most cases, farmers instead opt for quantity which they say will be instrumental in having the large portions of land covered at the expense of quality. This has ultimately had a dwindling impact on the efforts to have a well fed nation.
Small scale farmers in most cases find it so demanding in terms of financial inputs to sustain their farms. Additionally some of the recommended farm inputs are highly priced by the government. Just like any other sectors, should the government,, for example, subsidize the farm inputs by lowering the prices of crucial inputs such as agrochemicals and most importantly quality seeds, small scale farmers will push the economy to the new mark.
Sometimes there a gap between research and extension services provide by the field officers and the results on the side of farmers. Most farmers decry a poor state of the returns associated with the use of guidelines put in place by the research firms. They accuse them of a failed outcome of the speculations. Quality of research and information services provided to farmers not only compromise the farmers capabilities ion the farm but also the

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