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November 27th, 2017 / The Standard, Kenya

The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate (Kephis) has released 140 new drought-resistant and fast-maturing seed varieties into the market. Kephis Managing Director Esther Kimani said the new variety of seeds would help to address food insecurity, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. “These varieties are drought-tolerant and early-maturing, and superior to the ones currently in the market,” said Dr Kimani. The new varieties of seeds released included maize, beans, sunflower, sorghum and potatoes, and four others that are tolerant to the maize Lethal Necrosis Disease.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s agricultural exports to European markets are set to increase following the completion of a Sh250 million laboratory complex that will ensure produce meets international standards. The facility unveiled on Wednesday will ensure that fertiliser, seeds, soils and water are tested before farmers use them. The laboratory will also ensure healthy plants, safe trade and a sustainable agro-environment for the development of the agricultural sector. Opening the laboratory complex built jointly by Kephis and the European Union (EU), Deputy President William Ruto said the project was a milestone in the development of the agricultural sector. He said the laboratory was ready at a time when there was increasing public demand for high quality and safe food worldwide. Read more