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Lonic Chida
Nov 5, 2023

What does variety release stage entails in a variety release process in Kenya?

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Nov 5, 2023
In the variety release process in Kenya, the variety release stage refers to the stage where a new crop variety is evaluated and approved for release to farmers. This stage involves several steps and criteria to ensure that the variety meets the required standards and is suitable for cultivation in the country.

Here are the key aspects of the variety release stage in Kenya:

1. Field Trials: The new variety is tested in multiple locations and seasons to assess its performance under different agro-ecological conditions. This includes evaluating its yield potential, resistance to pests and diseases, adaptability, and agronomic characteristics.

2. Data Collection: Detailed data is collected during field trials, including yield data, quality parameters, and other relevant traits. This information is used to compare the performance of the new variety with existing varieties and to determine its superiority.

3. Evaluation Committees: Evaluation committees consisting of experts from various disciplines, such as plant breeders, agronomists, pathologists, and entomologists, review the trial results and make recommendations for variety release.

4. National Performance Trials: If the new variety performs well in the initial field trials, it undergoes further testing in National Performance Trials (NPTs). NPTs are conducted in multiple locations across the country to validate the variety's performance and stability.

5. Variety Release Committee: A Variety Release Committee, comprising representatives from relevant government agencies, research institutions, and seed companies, reviews the trial data and recommendations from the evaluation committees and makes the final decision on whether to release the variety.

6. Variety Release Certificate: If the new variety meets the required standards and is approved for release, a Variety Release Certificate is issued. This certificate allows seed companies to produce and market the variety to farmers.

7. Seed Production and Distribution: After variety release, seed companies engage in seed production and multiplication to ensure sufficient availability of certified seeds for farmers. The certified seeds are then distributed through various channels to reach farmers across the country.

The variety release stage is a crucial step in ensuring that farmers have access to improved crop varieties that can enhance productivity, resilience, and profitability in agriculture.
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