The Star (Nairobi)

29 July 2014

Kenya: Kari Releases Certified Cassava Seeds for the First Time

The Kenya Agriculture Research Institute has for the first time produced certified cassava seeds.

A seed expert from the institute, Dr Joseph Kamau, said six varieties of the seeds had been released at the Coast, three in Nairobi and a host of others are being produced.

"For years, the country did not have any certified cassava seeds but Kari is proud to announce that we now have certified seeds in the market," he said.

Kamau said plans are underway to open two agri-centres in Kilifi and Busia towns to process cassava.

"We are committed to improving cassava production in the country and this can be done through the production of quality seeds," he said.

Kamau said Kari and the Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Project has also produced certified rice seeds.

He said the new seeds are aromatic and have been blended with ones from Tanzania.

"One of the varieties is an international product and has bigger grains than Pishori. The seeds are available in the Kenya Seed Company outlets," Kamau said.

Kamau, who is also EAAPP deputy project coordinator, was addressing the press in Dairy Training Institute in Naivasha during a dairy farmers open day yesterday.

Kamau said for years, farmers have been recycling seeds, hence affecting their production and quality.

He said recycling the seeds has seen the rice lose its aromatic smell as the quality of the seed continues to deteriorate.

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