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Kenya develops new regulations to enhance quality, access to variety of select seedsqrcode

Jan. 8, 2024

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Jan. 8, 2024

By Zablon Oyugi

The Kenyan government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has developed new regulations that are aimed at enhancing quality and access to a variety of vegetatively propagating seed (VPS).

Under the Seeds and Plant Varieties (Vegetatively Propagating Seeds) Regulations, 2023, the VPS are grouped into root and tuber crops, oil and nut crops, sugar crop, medicinal herbs, spices and aromatic plants, beverage crops, fruit trees, grasses and pasture legume.

Among them are tea, coffee, berries, ginger, sesame, mango, peach, plum, butterfly pea, sweet clovers, horsetail grass, Napier grass, tree tomatoes, grapes, pixies oranges, pineapple, cocoa, aloe vera, vanilla, tea tree, miraa, paprika, sugar cane, cassava, and macadamia nuts among others.

According to the new regulations, a person shall not sell Vegetatively Propagating Seed without a valid Vegetatively Propagating Seed producer’s or seller’s registration Certificate.

It specifies that the Vegetatively Propagating Seed is that part of a plant which is or is intended to be used for propagation and includes any seedling, corm, cutting, bulb, bulbil, layer, marcott, root, runner, scion, set, split, stem, stock, stump, sucker, tuber, plantlet, rooted apical cuttings, or mini tuber so used or intended to be so used.

It also outlines that seed merchants already registered under Seeds and Plant Variety (Seeds) Regulations 2016 for production of seed shall register their intention to transact in vegetatively propagating seed.

The new regulations apply to production, for purposes of sale, of quality declared standard seed and certified seed of vegetatively propagating seed of prescribed plant species.

On the contrary, it shall not apply to vegetatively propagating seed produced by farmers for their own use and sharing among farmers.

In addition, the object and purpose of the regulations is to;

a) provide procedures for the registration of producers, grafting service providers and sellers of vegetatively propagating seed

b) provide procedures for the production, preparation and sale of vegetatively propagating seed

c) provide for compliance and enforcement of measures for persons in vegetatively propagating seed.


The regulations require that every person who intends to be a producer of vegetatively propagating seed for sale shall apply to the Service for registration as a producer of Vegetatively Propagating Seed and be issued with a license to do so by the relevant regulatory authority, in this case, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).

Failure to which, states the regulations, the person shall have committed an offense and shall be liable to a fine of not exceeding Kenya Shillings twenty thousand (Ksh20,000) or a jail sentence not exceeding six months or both.


Kenyans seeking to sell the specified seeds will be required to apply for certification from the KEPHIS. Certificates shall be effective from January 1 to December 31 every year.

″The regulator may suspend or revoke a certificate issued where a registered person does not comply with the prescribed conditions or any other regulations,″ reads the regulation in part.

All registered producer is required to record details of each seed lot of certified seed produced, purchased, sold, or otherwise dealt with from time to time as prescribed. These records can be produced for inspection whenever required.

All certified producers are not allowed to operate when their license is suspended. They are also not allowed to sell rejected seeds.

″It is the responsibility of the Vegetatively Propagating Seed producer/seller to ensure the protection of certified Vegetatively Propagating Seed from damage, contamination and infection at transportation and handling,″ reads part of the regulations.

Grafting certification

Additionally, besides the sellers and producers, any person who intends to offer grafting of Vegetatively Propagating Seed services shall apply to the Service for registration as a grafting service provider.

″A registered grafting service provider shall be required to submit to the Service quarterly returns on the quantities and types of grafting and other vegetatively propagating seed processing done,″ reads the regulation in parts.

The Seeds and Plant Varieties (Vegetatively Propagating Seeds) Regulations of 2023 are among the several regulations put in place or proposed by the government to monitor and streamline the agricultural sector.


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