Prof. Agnes wakesho Mwang’ombe, SEMIs PI and Program Team Leader, taking the guests through machine operations at SEMIs factory.
Seed Enterprise Management Institute (SEMIs) has been officially launched. Its inauguration makes it the University of Nairobi’s latest institute among the seven institutes already presents in various Colleges in the University.
Speaking during the launching ceremony, the chief guest and the University of Nairobi’s Chairman of Council, Dr. Idle Omar Farah, pledged support to the institute terming it as noble and one that fulfills every mandate of University as a center for research and academic excellence. He also added that its operations would be essential in contributing towards social economic development of Kenya, Africa and the world.
SEMIs was initiated in 2010 through financial support under the Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). It is a collaborative project between University of Nairobi, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Iowa State University (ISU), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya Seed Company Ltd. (KSCo), Agricultural Consultants, and private and public institutions involved in seed production.
As the major sponsors, African Green Revolution for Agriculture (AGRA), through the Director of Program for Africa's Seed Systems, Dr Joseph DeVries, expressed their optimism in SEMIs since it is partnership driven, farmer centered and operates on models that understand that African farmers need uniquely African solutions designed to meet their specific environmental and agricultural needs so they can boost production and gain access to rapidly growing agriculture markets in a sustainable manner.
SEMIs facility comprises of seed laboratories, seed processing factory, seminar rooms and offices. The seed processing factory offers seed processing services to small seed companies. The project also multiplies breeder seed of six released bean varieties namely, Kenya Wonder, Kenya Sugar bean, MieziMbili, Super Rosecoco, Kabete super and Kenya Red Kidney. These bean varieties are licensed to Kenya Seed Company and Elgon Kenya Limited.
The institute has trained personnel from over 17 African countries representing over 114 seed companies.