Kenyans face a fine of up to Ksh20,000 or a jail term of six months or both if found selling select seeds or operating without a license.
The seeds have been categorised into root and tuber, oil and nuts, sugar, medicinal herbs and spices, beverages, fruit trees, grasses, and pasture legumes.
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.
These penalties are stipulated under the Seeds and Plant Varieties (Vegetatively Propagating Seeds) Regulations of 2023.
Tea farmers in Kericho County on Friday, July 7, 2023
The regulation applies to the production for sale of quality declared standard seed and certified seed of vegetatively propagating seed of specified plant species.
A vegetatively propagating seed, according to the regulations, is the part of a plant that will be used for propagation (breeding) and includes any seedling.
Meanwhile, the regulations shall not apply to farmers growing vegetatively propagating seeds to share with fellow farmers.
Kenyans seeking to sell the specified seeds will be required to apply for certification from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service. Certificates shall be effective from January 1 to December 31.
“The Service may suspend or revoke a certificate issued where a registered person does not comply with the prescribed conditions or any other regulations,” reads part of the regulation.
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.
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 is among the several regulations put in place or proposed by the government to monitor and streamline the agricultural sector.
Macadamia nuts packed in crates ready for exportation
Rich Farm Kenya