Seed Business management

Semis Business Management

Seed Production Course

Seed Production


The SEMIs International workshop training on seed production was held from 10th – 15th August, 2015. The course which was had in attendance 26 participants was coordinated by Prof. Kiarie Njoroge and Prof. Florence Olubayo both from CAVS. Participants were mostly field technicians in their seed companies and represented 13 countries to the workshop namely; Niger, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Sudan and DR Congo.

Training methodology consisted of lectures and practical sessions. Lectures were conducted at the 8:4:4 boardroom where topical areas were presented on such as; seed classification systems, seed production planning and cost planning, mating systems and hybrid production, and vegetative propagation. Field practical sessions were held at the field station where participants had opportunity to practice bagging, cross pollinating and selfing of different varieties of maize, sunflower, pearl millet, sorghum, green grams, beans, wheat, oats and barley.

prof Kiarie

Prof. Kiarie with participants at the field station demo plots


Demonstration of mass propagation of citrus at the Tissue culture laboratory by Sicily

Similarly the trainees had laboratory practicals at the Department of Plant Science where they had hands on training on tissue culture propagation, grafting and budding plus DNA extraction at the plant molecular laboratory.

During the training, two day field visits were made to KEPHIS Lanet and Seed outgrower plantations in Kabarak. Aspects of seed quality giving focus to germination, moisture content and purity were demonstrated at the KEPHIS Lanet laboratories while seed sampling for tests and DUS determination were shown at the field. Internal quality checks for individual seed company is important as it prevents poor quality seeds from being delivered to farmers as well as seed not being rejected by the regulator. At the Outgrower farms in Kabarak, the ratio of male to female plants came out clearly; 3:1 or 6:2. Males are usually inbred lines while females are often single crossed. The maize variety which was being maintained by the outgrowers, DK8031, had shorter males while the females were rather tall. A reason for this is to ensure the male tassels are same level with female silks thereby pollen are blown with ease across to silks.


Mr. Charles Owino, Regional Manager KEPHIS Nakuru giving presentation to participants at Lanet


DUS measurement practicals at KEPHIS Lanet


Visit to Barley seed fields at Kabarak


Mr. Maina, Field supervisor Monsanto Kenya explains outgrower identification steps to Participants at Kabarak

The trainees attested to have learnt the most general principles which they were domesticate back in their companies and companies.


Ashanti proverb “One who climbs the oak tree is the one who is pushed up”.

Seed Processing Course

Seed Drying Processing & Storage

1. Introduction
Production is only the first step in the delivery of good quality seed to the farmer. The post-harvest operations including drying, processing and storage are key to the delivery of the seed in good condition. This module is intended to provide an introduction to the basic concepts of seed harvesting, drying, processing and storage for individuals needing a general understanding of related technology. The module will impart knowledge and skills on the post-harvest technical operations typically utilized to prepare a seed lot for marketing and use. Risks of seed deterioration, mechanical damage and improved seed quality will be emphasized. Methods for selecting and evaluating of seed processingequipment and process output will be reviewed in the context of a typical seed operation for selected crops. In addition, quality control, record keeping, inventory management, and plant layout considerations for various seed applications will be introduced, including special concerns for small lot processing.

2. The objectives of the course
The overall objective is to equip the participants with practical knowledge of the basic concepts involved in drying, processing and storage operations typically utilized to prepare aseed lot for marketing and use.
The specific objectives are:
2.1    To create awareness on the components and functions of seed value chains
2.2 To enhance knowledge on post-harvest factors affecting seed quality, including seed deterioration and mechanical seed damage
2.3 To impart knowledge on principles and practices related to seed processing, handling equipment and safety issues.
2.4 To enhance knowledge on management of discards and trash from the seed processing operation and air/dust control
2.5 To improve knowledge on quality control, record keeping, inventory management and plant layout considerations including special concerns for small lot processing.

3. The participants will acquire knowledge on:
3.1    The factors that influence the effectiveness of drying, storage and processing operations.
3.2    The concepts, operation and safety of processing equipment and handling system for seeds and other planting materials (vegetative planting materials)
3.3    The importance of quality and environmental issues relevant to seed processing.
3.4    The relationship between processing operations and other seed production and delivery systems.

4. Admission Requirements
4.1 The common regulations governing short courses in the University of Nairobi shall apply.
4.2 At least KCSE or equivalent.

5. Course structure and duration
The short course in seed drying, processing and storage shall be offered on full time basis as follows:
5.1 The course shall have three course units of classroom lectures, demonstrations, practicals and field visits.
5.2 The course shall cover a period of six days.
5.3 Lectures shall constitute 60% while field visits, demonstrations and practicals shall constitute 40% of the course time.
5.4. Practicals will include field visits to a seed company for demonstrations on seed reception, quality control, laboratory, storage, drying and processing facilities, and warehouse management.
5.5 Assessment shall be by group exercises and end-of-course evaluation.

6. Award:
At the end of the course the trainees will be awarded a Certificate of Participation

7. Course Outline
Code    Course Title                                                                           Hours
APS1    Seed Processing Operations …………………………………………….. 12
APS2    Seed Drying, Storage Management and Safety Considerations  …..  12
APS3    Finished Product and Plant Management   ……………………………. 11
TOTAL  ……………………………………….   35

8. Course Description
APS 1: Seed Processing Operations
Rationale and overview of techniques in seed processing including harvesting, transportation, pre-cleaning, cleaning, size separation, upgrading, seed protection, and material handling; air-screen cleaning: aspiration, screen selection, and efficiency; gravity separator: fluidization and control; length, width, and thickness sizing; surface texture separation;seed treating: chemicals application and calibration; handling: vertical/horizontal movement and damage prevention; other processing equipment and new technology; discards and dust control.

APS 2:  Seed Drying, Storage Management and Safety Considerations
Seed moisture, aeration and temperature control in relation to storage and warehouse design/management; seed drying principles and moisture management; temperature, relative humidity, and drying rate consideration for maintaining seed quality and reducing heat damage. Seed storage: principles, methods, controls and pest management; environmental concerns; occupational health and safety; automation and control.

APS 3: Finished Product and Plant Management
Packaging and palletizing equipment; plant-level sampling, testing for quality control and process improvement; plant layout considerations; record keeping, seed lot tracking, inventory management, maintenance and cost management.



Kindly confirm participation through the following contact persons:

Principle CAVS:,

Daniel Wasonga (SEMIs Project Manager):

Florenec Kiwunja(SEMIs Office Assistance)

George Bigirwa:

Or through AGRA office: Online at:

Registration for this course is limited to 30 persons only, and will be on first-come basis.

Course and Registration Fees

Registration fees: $ 40, tuition:$ 500, Laboratory and Field: $100, Field visit to seed industry: $ 100, Stationery: $ 40,


Bed and Breakfast:$ 840,

Participants will be accommodated in a pleasant environment, a few minutes’ drive from the University


Lunch and tea: $160. Lunch, and tea at 1000 and 1600 hours, will be served at the venue of the training


Daily transportation to and from the hotel and University, and pickup from and drop-off to, the airport: $ 70

Note: Total Cost for the course is $ 1850 for local participants. Add 20% for international participants (= $ 2220)

Kindly note the above charges are not inclusive of personal allowance and health insurance. Please make personal arrangements.


For project-sponsored participants, AGRA will take care of all costs inclusive of travel, course and registration fees, and accommodation

Special Needs:

In case of any special needs like disability, kindly inform the organizers one week prior to arrival for arrangements

Further Information

For further information please contact:

Principle CAVS:,

Daniel Wasonga (SEMIs Project Manager):

Florenec Kiwunja(SEMIs Office Assistance)

George Bigirwa: Email:

Seed Marketing

Seed Marketing


Plant Protection Organisations (NPPO’S) Quality Regulators