To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

April 05, 2011

Pest analysis laboratory to be set up in Kenya

Kenya will host sub-Saharan Africa’s first globally recognised pest risk analysis laboratory, ending a 15-year wait.

Established by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) in Muguga, with support from the United States Agency for International Development at a cost of $463,727, the lab has acquired the status of Africa’s Centre of Phytosanitary Excellence.

The laboratory will serve East African countries as well as some Southern African nations, being the only one of its kind, that can carry out pest analysis on plants exported in and out of the region, without subjecting materials to further tests at the points of entry.

The only other country in Africa with such a facility is South Africa.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Romano Kiome said the facility has elevated Kephis to high profile inspection bodies such as the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, on which it is modelled, and will now make it easier for the country to export to the US, whose stringent importation requirements had remained a challenge.

James Onsando, Kephis managing director, said the laboratory will also serve as a training centre for the region, as individual countries set up their own facilities.

“We are receiving requests for human resource development across the region, while some countries like Rwanda and Ethiopia have requested us to second our staff to train their people.”

Exporters of agricultural produce will be the winners, as they will be spared the extra cost of obtaining certificates at both exit and entry points, Mr Kiome said.

Kephis has inspection offices in Nairobi, Mombasa, Busia and Eldoret, as the government parastatal strives to cover all entry and exit points to prevent introduction of new pests and diseases through importation of plant materials, a requirement of the World Trade Organisation.

Since Kenya is a big exporter of agricultural produce especially horticulture, tea and coffee, it was necessary to establish support mechanisms to smoothen movement of produce.

To test the efficacy of the facility before its launch, pest risk analysis was conducted on six crops including imported rice; wheat, beans, peas, broccoli and alliums for export.

Kephis’ mandate is to protect Kenya’s agriculture from pests and diseases that could have negative environmental and human health impact through the establishment of laboratories to monitor the quality and levels of toxic residues in plants, soils and other produce.

The institute also undertakes inspection, testing, certification, quarantine control and description of seeds and planting materials.

The East African

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP