News and knowhow for farmers

How to identify genuine maize seeds this planting season


Maize farmers can identify genuine planting seeds this season by scratching the sticker labels on top of the packaged product and sending the code to 1393.

“The labels when scratched reveals a code, farmers can send the code to the number 1393 to ascertain if the seeds are genuine” said Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service Managing Director Esther Kimani.

After sending the code, farmers will receive details on the company that manufactured the seeds, details about the seed such as the variety, optimal production levels and the testing date.

However, if the message does not contain all the above details then the seeds are fake and not approved for planting by KEPHIS, whose responsibility is to assure the quality of agricultural inputs.

According to the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, the informal seed sector accounts for 60 to 70 per cent while the Alliance for Green Revolution reports that only 20 per cent of farmers in Africa use seeds of improved varieties.

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KEPHIS has also introduced a variety short message service to help farmers plant and grow recommended varieties suitable for their regions.

A farmer intending to know the recommended maize variety for their region can do so by texting maize #division, e.g. maize #Maragua and send the message to 20441. He or she will then get the recommended maize variety for the region. The charges are two shillings on Safaricom or Airtel mobile service providers.

Kenyans consume at least three million bags of maize monthly according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.  The crop is used to make maize meal from the flour.

In this, maize consumption is estimated at 98 kilograms per person per year.

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1 thought on “How to identify genuine maize seeds this planting season”

  1. We’re getting a big challenge to get genuine maize seeds this year 2024 at Molo area. Kindly get genuine stockist here.

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