Kenya Seed set to boost acreage on high demand

The Kenya Seed Company Eldoret depot.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenya Seed Company is targeting to increase acreage under maize seed production from 36,000 currently to more than 41,000 acres the next planting season, to meet the growing national demand from farmers.

This is an equivalent of 50 million kilograms of maize seed to be produced annually.

“The demand for seed in the country and the East African region is higher than the supply, and we are working on meeting the deficit in the next year,” said company Managing Director Sammy Chepsiror.

The seed producer has termed fake seeds as a real threat to the country’s food security, with Mr Chepsiror advising farmers to always stay vigilant so as not to be preyed on by unscrupulous dealers, particularly during the current planting season.

“Fake seed is a real threat to the food security of our country and very dangerous to the farmer because it kills the farmer’s morale. We are working round the clock to ensure safe distribution and sale of our maize varieties to farmers across maize growing zones in the country,” he said.

According to Mr Chepsiror, the company has invested in new security technology as it increases vigilance to protect the market from unscrupulous suppliers involved in the sale and distribution of fake seeds.

He urged farmers to always ensure they buy certified seeds bearing the KEBs quality mark from its branches and authorized licensed dealers, agents, and stockists.

He revealed that the company has introduced modern technology in its security mechanisms to protect the farmer from fake seeds, even as it scales up seed production to meet growing market demand nationally.

The interventions by the seed producer are timely, coming against the backdrop of concerns about fake seeds and fake fertilizer that threaten efforts to achieve food security in Kenya.

The Kenya Seed Company boss said the company has a fully functional security department to monitor and gather intelligence on producers of fake seeds across the country.

“We have put in place top-notch security modalities to protect the farmer and ensure our top quality seed varieties are not doctored by fake suppliers,” Mr Chepsiror said.

Kenya Seed Company has subsidiaries in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda in East Africa, and soon going into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and also targeting to extend its tentacles into Ethiopia and South Sudan in its expansion strategy into the larger African region.

Apart from cereal and pasture seeds, Kenya Seed Company also produces horticultural seeds through its subsidiaries.

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