Aerial view of KEPHIS Nakuru
KEPHIS Nakuru Regional Office

Welcome to KEPHIS Nakuru Office

KEPHIS Nakuru station was established as a national center for seed quality control in 1979 at 0°17'43.6_S 36°11'03.7_E Lanet in Nakuru. This was as a result of the relocation of the seed laboratory that was based at NARL Nairobi to the current location in Lanet. It was then called the National Seed Quality Control Service (NSQCS). We have evolved with time and in 1996, When KEPHIS was formed in 1996, it took over the activities of NSQCS. The station ensures KEPHIS mandate is achieved mainly in eight counties of the country as shown in the figure below:

Jurisdiction areas covered by the office
Highlighted Counties in Yellow are areas of Kephis Nakuru Jurisdiction

Figure 2: Highlighted counties in Yellow are areas of KEPHIS his Nakuru Jurisdiction.

The office’s areas of jurisdiction (as highlighted in yellow in Figure 1 above) includes 8 counties namely; -

  1. Nakuru county
  2. Nyandarua county (shared with KEPHIS Naivasha office)
  3. Narok county
  4. Bomet county
  5. Kericho county
  6. Samburu county
  7. Laikipia county (Shared with Embu office)
  8. Baringo county


Services per County

County Services (Routine) Remarks
Nakuru Seed Inspection, Phytosanitary, Post Certification -
Nyandarua Phytosanitary, Post Certification Shared with Naivasha Office
Laikipia Phytosanitary, Post Certification Shared with Embu Office
Samburu Seed Inspection, Post Certification -
Kericho Phytosanitary, Post Certification -
Bomet Phytosanitary, Post Certification -
Narok Seed Inspection, Post Certification -
Baringo Seed Inspection, Phytosanitary, Post Certification -

 

Seed Certification

 

The station undertakes seed certification activities in within its jurisdiction of 8 counties. The aspects of seed certification done here include:

  • Seed field inspection.
  • Seed processing and sampling
  • Post control monitoring.
  • Post-certification surveys of seed sold in the market.
  • Registration of seed growers, Merchants, seed sellers, Agents.
  • Offering training on various aspects of seed certification.
  • Hosting the Kenya chapter of the ISTA Seed Testing laboratory.

Seed Testing Laboratory



The KEPHIS Seed Laboratory is the official government seed testing laboratory in Kenya, a member of ISTA (since 1964), and is ISTA accredited (since 2002). The laboratory focuses on seed testing services but also has a strong capacity to contribute to research and education in the field of seed quality.

kephis nakuru laboratoryFigure 3: seed testing Laboratory

Our customers range from local farmers, seed companies, Public and international organizations. As a customer-focused laboratory, operating in a world of changing needs and opportunities, we innovate constantly to provide high-quality service.

The laboratory has offered seed testing services continuously since 1944. It provides ISTA testing for a wide range of crops and tests including sampling, purity and other seed determination, germination, viability, moisture content, weight determination, vigor, and Seed Health tests.

The laboratory provides the following services apart from the core function of seed testing:-

  1. It hosts international workshops
  2. It offers consultancy services on topics related to seed testing
  3. offer specialized or general training to a wide variety of audiences including seed analysts, industry staff(local and International)and students from tertiary institutions

Commitment to Quality

As an accredited laboratory, we improve our quality management system continuously to respond to the needs of a changing global seed world.

Summary facts about KEPHIS Seed Testing Laboratory

  • Is the only National seed testing laboratory in Kenya 
  • Offers testing services for more than 250 species of crops, vegetables, flowers, and trees
  • Able to testabout200 pathogens (fungi, bacteria, and viruses)
  • Is a reputable seed industry source for international workshops and short courses on seed quality.
  • Has served as Kenya’s seed industry leader in seed testing for 69 years

Plant Health Laboratory

The plant health laboratory was established in 2014 and to date, more than five thousand samples have been tested for different pathogens and our clients advised accordingly. The health of seed refers primarily to the presence or absence of disease-causing organisms such as fungi, bacteria and viruses, and animal pests, such as eelworms and insects although Physiological conditions such as trace elements deficiency may be involved. The laboratory takes pride in its modern equipment which enable rapid and reliable results being released to the client within the set timelines. This is based on well-researched methods that enable reproducible detection of the presence or absence of pathogens in plant material and soil.

Core values

Professionalism, Customer Focus, Innovative, Effectiveness, and Efficiency, Teamwork

Our customers

Our customers range from local farmers, seed companies, county governments, public and international organizations. As a customer-focused laboratory, operating in a world of changing needs and opportunities, we innovate constantly to provide high-quality service. We listen and endeavor to meet our customers’ needs by always expanding our scope of testing based on their needs. The laboratory has the following units:

Molecular Testing Unit

This laboratory makes use of molecular techniques to ensure samples are tested rapidly and reliably based on the detection of both DNA and RNA of pathogens in samples. This is achieved using both Real-time PCR and Conventional PCR which gives high reliability of results.

KEPHIS Nakuru Molecular Testing UnitFigure 4: Reagent Room Molecular Testing Unit


Real Time PCR and Conventional PCR roomFigure 5: Real-Time PCR and Conventional PCR Room

Figure 6: Gel Documentation Room


Pathogen Disease Caused Method for Testing Cost per Sample
MLND Viruses (Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus (MCMV) and any of the cereal viruses) MLND Real time PCR KES. 7,000
Impatiens necrotic spot virus Impatiens necrotic spot Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Cucumber Mosaic Virus Cucumber Mosaic Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus Tomato Spotted Wilt Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Sweet Potato Feathery Mottle Virus Sweet Potato Feathery Mottle Real-time PCR KES. 3,500
Sweet Potato Chlorotic stunt Virus Sweet Potato Chlorotic stunt Real-time PCR KES. 3,500
Sweet potato Virus G Sweet Potato Chlorotic stunt Real-time PCR KES. 3,500
Tomato Ring spot Virus Tomato Ring spot Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Begomo viruses   Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Nepo viruses   Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Carnation viruses Carnation diseases Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Insect, Fungi, Bacteria- bar-coding N/A Conventional PCR KES. 3,500

Mycology Testing Unit

The inspection of plant materials to observe fruiting structures of fungi and the effects of the fungi on the physical appearance if any are observed for quicker decision making by our staff. The fruiting bodies such as acervuli, pycnidia, perithecia, sclerotia on the plant surface, or submerged in the plant tissue can be seen by the naked eye as well as using sophisticated microscopes. Our laboratory is well equipped with both stereomicroscope and compound microscope as well as computer attached trinocular microscopes and fluorescent microscope. These enable our staff to accurately identify fungal to species level. Our large capacity walk-in Near Ultraviolet incubation room enables faster sporulation of fungal which makes fungal detection rapid.

 

Pathogen Disease Caused Method for Testing Cost per Sample
Fusariumspp

Fusarium wilts

Stalk/ear rot (maize)

Culture media & identification
Conventional PCR

KES. 500
KES. 3,500
Botrytis cinerea Botrytis rot Culture media & identification KES. 500
Drechsleraspp
Helminthosporiumspp.
Blights on cereals Culture media & identification KES. 500
Colletotrichumspp. Anthracnose Culture media & identification KES. 500
Cercosporaspp Leaf spots Culture media & identification KES. 500
Basidiomycetes Smuts and rusts Confirmatory identification KES. 500



KEPHIS master mix preparation
Figure 7: Master mix preparation

Bacteriology Testing Unit

The laboratory works closely with clients to ensure that samples are collected and received in the laboratory in good condition. Different aspects of Bacteriological diagnosis are employed ranging from pure culture establishment, direct microscopy, Fluorescent microscopy screening test, rapid test kits to ELISA, and Molecular methods where pure culture is subjected to DNA extraction and PCR done.

Bacterial culture observationFigure 8: Bacterial culture observation

 

Pathogen Disease Caused Method for Testing Cost per Sample
Xanthomonas spp. Xanthomonas Wilt

Conventional PCR

KES. 3,500
Ralstonia solanacearum Bacterial wilt Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Dickeyasolani Potato blackleg Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Pectobacterium carotovorum Soft rot/blackleg Conventional PCR KES. 3,500
Ewrinia complex   Culture media & identification KES. 3,500

 

DNA Extraction
Figure 9: Sample preparation and DNA Extraction

Nematology Testing Unit

This is the youngest of the units in the plant health laboratory following the unending needs to meet our clients’ needs. The unit was established last year in 2019 and to date over six hundred samples have been tested. Nematodes are a diverse group of worm-like animals that are found in virtually every environment both as parasitic and free-living organisms. Their impact in agriculture production has been underestimated over the years but in recent days, their economic damage has come to be acknowledged hence the need to identify and manage them properly.   General statistics globally puts reduced yield loss due to Nematodes at 11% reducing production by millions of tonnes every year.

Plant Parasitic NematodeFigure 10: Plant Parasitic nematode


Pathogen Disease Caused Method for Testing Cost per Sample

Cyst Nematodes:Globoderaspp.

Heterodera spp.

Meloidogynespp

Potato CN (PCN)

Soybean CN

Root-knot nematodes

Fenwick can floatation technique

KES. 1,000
Vermiform (Eelworm): various species Various Baermann’s modified method (inclusive of identification) KES. 1,500

 

Phytosanitary Section

KEPHIS Nakuru regional office offers phytosanitary services to farmers/ stakeholders in the region. Our customers range from local farmers, seed companies, county governments, public and international organizations, Research institutions, Importers, Exporters, local manufacturers. Key activities include:-

  • Farm audits for new and existing farms
  • Export facility inspections.
  • Fruit tree Nursery inspections
  • Issuance of Phytosanitary certificates
  • Issuance of Plant Import Permit
  • Quarantine facility inspections
  • Plant clinics/Diagnostic Services
  • Advisory services
  • Stakeholder training on phytosanitary issues.
  • Stakeholder collaborations on phytosanitary issues

Farms/Facilities Within The Region

We have registered a total of 57 farms/facilities, all export-oriented:

  • Flower Related farms-37
  • Vegetable and herbs-10
  • Quarantine/propagating facilities-14
  • Wood treatment facilities-4
  • Dry produce facilities-2

Nursery Inspections

  • We have a total of 44 nurseries for fruit trees; 5 nurseries for Pyrethrum.

Our operations are offered at both our Lanet Office and at Huduma Centre., with the bulk being at our Lanet office.

Frequently asked questions

How can one verify whether the seed lot is certified or not?

  • First, confirm if the seed packet has a KEPHIS sticker label
  • Scratch the sticker label and send the code to 1393

What are the qualifications/ requirements for one to be a seed grower?

  • Should have a contract with the seed merchant
  • Should have technical knowhow about seed production
  • Should have adequate land for production

What are the requirements for one to be a seed seller?

  • Should have a valid seed seller’s license from KEPHIS

What are the requirements for one to be a registered seed merchant?

  • Adequate and knowledgeable personnel who are conversant with seed production
  • Adequate production of land and farm equipment
  • Adequate machinery and equipment to process seeds
  • Adequate storage space

What are the benefits of using certified seeds?

  • High yielding
  • Resistant to pests and diseases

What are the procedures before growing potato seed for certification?

  • Soil tests for bacterial and potato cyst nematodes
  • Adequate land for crop rotation


Nakuru Regional Office Contacts:
P.O. Box 1679 Nakuru
TELEFAX: 020-3536170
Cell:0722-209503|0734-330020
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.