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KEPHIS GM in charge of Phytosanitary Services Dr Isaac Macharia(right) presents Brian Kipruto Kibet with his winner’s certificate; Kibet emerged tops at the Students Essay Writing Competition.

KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi - Brian Kipruto Kibet, 22, is the winner of the Students Essay Writing Competition. Kibet focused on Theme #4 which focused on the following:

Kenya is currently focusing on maize, potatoes and rice to promote food security in Kenya. Do you think that these three foods can achieve the government’s goals? Why or why not? What foods do you think could contribute to food security? Give practical ways that Kenyans can uptake other foods and stop over-reliance of maize which has faced a myriad of challenges.

Kibet is a law student at the University of Nairobi in his 3rd Year of study and is passionate about food justice, i.e. that people should get enough food to enable them lead productive lives. He notes that currently, there are many people without food in Kenya and farmers should be empowered to grow enough food. Kibet, from Moi’s Bridge in Trans Nzoia County, also says farmers should diversify their crops and stop the over-reliance on maize. “Farmers should move to crops such as potatoes and rice.” he says. When not studying, he a part-time farmer. “I keep few chickens and grow potatoes and beans." Kibet won the 1st prize of KES 30,000 which he says will be used to purchase school books and invest in his agribusiness venture. “The money will also ease some burden from my parents in terms of my going to school,” he says.

Brian Kipruto Kibet with his winner’s certificate. He wrote on theme #4 whose question was as follows: Kenya is currently focusing on maize, potatoes and rice to promote food security in Kenya. Do you think that these three foods can achieve the government’s goals? Why or why not? What foods do you think could contribute to food security? Give practical ways that Kenyans can uptake other foods and stop over reliance of maize which has faced a myriad of challenges.


The essays, which had six (6) thematic areas, were part of awareness activities to mark the International Year of Plant Health(IYPH) 2020. The IYPH is expected to increase awareness among the public and policy makers of the importance of healthy plants and the necessity to protect them in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and push the global food security and nutrition agenda. The IYPH is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment and boost economic development.

The award was presented by KEPHIS GM Phytosanitary Services Dr Isaac Macharia at the conclusion of the 3rd Phytosanitary Conference (virtual edition) whose coordination was at KEPHIS Headquarters in Karen, Nairobi and was part of Kenya's activities to mark the IYPH.