KEPHIS 5-Year Strategic Plan and the National Phytosanitary Policy for 2023.
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KEPHIS 5-Year Strategic Plan and the National Phytosanitary Policy for 2023.

The unveiling of the KEPHIS Strategic Plan 2023/2027 marks a pivotal moment in Kenya’s agricultural landscape.

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The Strategic Plan 2023/2027  will guide in the implementation of activities, projects, and programs for the next five years while the National Phytosanitary Policy will guide the country on matters of Plant Health and interventions on Sanitary and Phytosanitary standards (SPS).

In a speech read on his behalf by Eng. Richard  Kanui,  Engineering Secretary, of the State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research during the launch, Dr. Paul Ronoh, highlights its synchronicity with the ongoing implementation of the Agriculture Policy 2021. Recognizing KEPHIS’s commendable efforts over the last 25 years, particularly in mitigating emerging challenges like pests, droughts, and locust invasions, Dr. Ronoh emphasizes the strategic plan’s alignment with the government’s vision.

“ This Strategic Plan resonates well with the dreams and ambitions of the Government and is a roadmap that holds great significance to Kenya and Africa for enhancing productivity, strengthening cooperation in safe agricultural trade, improving food safety standards, and thereby benefiting livelihoods in Kenya”, Dr. Rono said.

Prof. Theophilus  Mutui,  the  KEPHIS Managing Director said there has been a sharp increase in the international movement of plants, plant products, and regulated articles that have come with their challenges and necessitated the enhancement of sanitary and phytosanitary measures noting that the Country and horn of Africa are facing extraordinary food and nutritional situations due to prolonged drought, pest incursions, climate change, and variations in compliance with standards.

“KEPHIS has heavily invested in Pest Risk Analysis, border surveillance and inspection, quarantine and diagnostic systems, and analytical testing capacity that support safe trade in plants and plant products, I recognize the important role that plant health, seed certification, plant variety protection, and food safety play to our country, our region, and the whole world.”, he said

He notably pointed out the state-of-the-art analytical accredited plant health and analytical laboratories that continue to support the farmers in Kenya in determining the quality of the inputs and diagnosis of plant pests and diseases whose corrective action leads to productive agriculture.

These laboratories, Prof. Mutui said also promote trade in Kenyan fresh produce through the internationally recognized test reports and also provide precise measurements of elements like heavy metals, aflatoxin, and pesticide residue levels which are critical in determining the compliance levels to national and international food safety standards.

“We have deliberately invested in human and infrastructural resources that are modern and fit for purpose for continued compliance to international best practices, national and foreign market requirements, and enhanced productivity at the national level.”, the MD said.

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KEPHIS, Prof. Mutui said, has put in place systems for the certification of seeds so that the public has access to high-quality climate-resilient and high-yielding seeds and propagating materials for enhanced productivity.

The presence of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) certified laboratory in KEPHIS Nakuru supports Kenya and the region in providing certified seed for various crops.

Joseph M’eruaki, KEPHIS  Board Chairperson said KEPHIS plays an important role in ensuring Kenya’s economic growth is sustained as envisaged in the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA),

It is focused on delivering its mandate and has established strong systems and processes that ensure high-quality agricultural inputs and produce in the sector.

In executing the mandate of KEPHIS, M’eruaki said they are committed to the implementation of the strategy and have put forward strategies that will assist optimization of resource use and allocation to ensure the sustainability of its operations.

“We will be exploring areas of cooperation in plant health, seed systems, trade facilitation, and laboratory work. Public-Private-Partnership will also be explored in the various operational aspects of the Corporation with the view of creating new business models”, he said.

KEPHIS has projected a budget of KShs 12.8 billion to implement the Strategic Plan over five years and will finance its budget through internally generated funds and exchequer support and seek to enhance partnerships with both local and international development partners.

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