KENYA – Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), in collaboration with stakeholders and development partners, has successfully concluded the validation of the Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) tool.

The PCE tool aims to assess and enhance Kenya’s ability to manage plant health, addressing challenges posed by pests and ensuring the country’s agricultural resilience.

The PCE tool brings together national stakeholders to identify strengths and weaknesses in phytosanitary systems.

This collaborative effort allows countries, including Kenya, to develop their own national phytosanitary capacity development strategy.

KEPHIS initiated the phytosanitary evaluation with support from the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), responding to Kenya’s past challenges with pests.

The challenges of global plant movement contribute to the worldwide spread of pests, and Kenya is no exception.

The PCE exercise provides a systematic evaluation to identify gaps and propose effective solutions in addressing phytosanitary challenges.

Stakeholders with expertise have actively contributed to the process, resulting in a comprehensive evaluation that sheds light on Kenya’s phytosanitary system.

In a speech delivered on behalf of the PS State Department of Plant Protection and Food Safety Directorate, it was emphasized that the movement of plants globally poses challenges, leading to the proliferation of pests.

The Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation is seen as a crucial step to assess and address these challenges effectively. The PS highlighted the importance of the exercise in providing visibility on Kenya’s phytosanitary capabilities.

KEPHIS Managing Director, Prof. Theophilus Mutui, highlighted the positive impact of previous PCEs on KEPHIS.

The findings from the last two evaluations influenced the review of the legal framework, resulting in the draft Plant Protection Bill and regulations, as well as the development of the Phytosanitary Policy. This underscores the tangible impact of the PCE exercise on strengthening regulatory frameworks.

The PCE assessment considered 13 modules covering all aspects of KEPHIS as Kenya’s National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO).

The evaluation identified key outputs that, upon implementation, will fortify the phytosanitary system. This includes safeguarding plant health and biodiversity, promoting safe trade, boosting income, and contributing to food security.

The PCE is structured for a five-year period, aligning with the KEPHIS Strategic Plan. Three PCE missions have already been conducted in Kenya, involving relevant stakeholders.

These missions focused on identifying weaknesses in the phytosanitary system and proposing solutions to enhance the country’s phytosanitary capacity.

KEPHIS recently unveiled a five-year plan, earmarking Sh9.7 billion (U.S$ 63.4 million) to bolster plant health, ensure seed quality, and facilitate safe trade for the nation.

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