Muguga - The KEPHIS Plant Quarantine and Biosecurity Laboratory in Muguga has once again successfully attained accreditation of its testing activities to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard for testing and calibration laboratories. The laboratory is the designated COMESA regional reference for plant health in East Africa and a centre of excellence in germplasm exchange and distribution. It is one of its kind in the region to receive this recognition of this quality mark.
The laboratory got its first accreditation in 2014, re-accredited in 2018 with expansion of scope of the methods entered for accreditation and has successfully obtained re-accreditation with transition to the new version of the standard ISO/IEC 7025: 2017. KEPHIS Ag. MD Mr. Simeon Kibet said this accreditation is a milestone achievement for the agricultural sector in Kenya as it demonstrates the ability of local institutions to provide quality test results acceptable to a wide range of customers locally and around the globe. “This accreditation is highly regarded both nationally and internationally as a reliable indicator of technical competency and assurance of quality test results provided by the laboratory,” he added.
What does this mean for customers and the agriculture sector in Kenya?
The Plant Quarantine and Biosecurity Station (PQBS) plays an important role in plant protection through facilitation of safe transfer of plant genetic materials by preventing the introduction of plant pests, diseases and noxious (harmful and invasive) weeds. The station has full mandate in issues related to quarantine and plant biosecurity and has plant health laboratories that offer identification of quarantine and regulated non-quarantine pests.
KEPHIS through its laboratories and inspection facilities supports compliance to market requirements for all flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs that earn the country in excess of KES 100 billion annually. With this accreditation, data and results from our plant health laboratories are accepted by all laboratories and regulators all over the world.