Seed Quality Assurance , Enterprise and Management

Short Course on Seed Quality Assurance and Seed Enterprise Quality Management 

  1. Introduction
    The seed systems in sub-Saharan Africa have to be responsive to the needs of the farmers and the industry must be dynamic enough to bring about the required changes that will make the agricultural sector grow within the existing legal frameworks. Proper maintenance of varieties with improved traits such as high nutritional value, high yielding capacity, and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses is necessary in passing the benefits of the bred traits to the grower. In addition, maintenance of seed quality is essential to ensure that the seeds remain viable and produce vigorous plants. Hence, there is need for continuous testing using the appropriate and approved procedures both in the laboratory. This module is designed to provide the participants with an understanding of procedures in seed certification, laws and regulations governing the seedindustry and the standard seed enterprise quality management procedures. In addition, the participants will be exposed to hands-on training sessions on internationally accepted methods of seed testing. The students trained will be able to enhance management of small seed enterprises that would produce quality seed for enhanced agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa.2. The objectives of the course:
    The overall objective is to enhance participants’ practical knowledge and skills on seed testing, quality assurance and certification procedures.

    The specific objectives:
    2.1    To create awareness on the components and functions of seed value chains
    2.2    To enhance knowledge of the national and international laws and regulations governing the seed industry.
    2.3    To strengthen the understanding of the standard operating procedures in the seed quality management system.
    2.4    To impart skills on seed fields inspection for maintenance of genetic purity.
    2.5    To enhance skills of seed testing methods for evaluation of physical and physiological quality.
    2.6    To improve the knowledge on phytosanitary quality through the identification of weeds, insects and pathogens.

    3. The participants will acquire:  
    3.1.    Knowledge on determinants of seed quality and certification process
    3.2.    Ability to recognize various quality problems associated with seed
    3.3.    Hands-on skills on seed testing methods.
    3.4.    Knowledge on the role and impact of seed legislation on the seed industry.
    3.5.    Knowledge on national, regional and international laws, regulations and agreements that facilitate seed production and trade.
    3.6.    Knowledge on the processes in the management of a quality seed enterprise
    3.7.    Ability to maintain, interpret and communicate information using ICT for a quality seed enterprise.

    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 quality assurance and seed enterprise management shall be offered on full time basis as follows:
    5.1 The course shall have four course units of class room lectures, demonstrations, practicals and field visits.
    5.2 The course shall be covered in a period of twelve days (2 weeks).
    5.3 Lectures shall constitute 40% while field visits, demonstrations, group discussions and practicals shall constitute 60% of the course time.
    5.4 Practical will include field visits to a national plant protection organization (NPPO), seed producers and research institutions for demonstration on seed quality testing procedures, field and laboratory inspection procedures and seed enterprise management.
    5.4 Assessment shall be by exercises, group discussion 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
    AQM1    Basic Concepts of Seed Quality Assurance ……  11
    AQM2    Seed Health and Quality testing  ……………….  24
    AQM3    Seed Legislation and Certification  ……………..  15
    AQM4    Seed Enterprise Quality Management   ………… 20
    TOTAL  ………………….. 70

    8. Course Description
    AQM 1: Basic concepts of seed quality assurance
    Seed value chains; importance introduction to seed quality (including what is a seed, types of seed, seed production); elements of seed quality: genetic purity, biological, physical and chemical, seed health; importance of seed quality;  seed quality testing and certification, field certification;  sampling procedures; identification and management of seed borne diseases and  pests; varietal purity; seed treatment for true seed and vegetatively propagated seed; purity maintenance; information management; GMOs seeds and implications on the seed quality; general overview of a seed laboratory.

    AQM 2:  Seed Quality Testing
    Purity, moisture, germination, vigor and   other testing methods such as tetrazolium, bleach test, fast green, and electrical conductivity; laboratory identification of seed pests and seed-borne pathogens; diagnostic methods: routine testing methods such as visual, wash, plate, blotter, and seedling symptom test; biochemical-based testing methods; protein-based testing methods including Enzyme-linked Immuno-assay; molecular-based diagnostic testing methods including Polymerase Chain Reaction; data collection and management through ICT application.

    AQM 3:  Seed Legislation and Certification
    Introduction to seed policy and legislation; components of a national legislation in seed production; national, regional and international certification procedures; field and laboratory certification standards; procedures of field inspection of selected crops; seed labelling, field standards,. Regional and international agreements to facilitate seed trade, seed certification, variety release, seed imports and exports; registration of seed related institutions and plant variety protection legislation (East African Community, South African Development Community, Economic Community for West African States, Common Market for East and Southern Africa).

    AQM 4:  Seed Enterprise Quality Management
    Introduction to process management; process analysis and flowcharting; documentation structure and writing; quality standards and their management; operational and support procedures for labs, termination and suspension; accreditation for individual seed companies, seed companies, and seed laboratories; operational and support procedures for producers, processors and marketing agents; monitoring and evaluation of the implementation procedures.



Kindly confirm participation through the following contact persons:


Daniel Wasonga (SEMIs Project Manager):

Florence Kiwunja(SEMIs Office Assistant);

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


The short course  will be held at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Services (CAVS), University of Nairobi Upper Kabete campus. You will get details of the location on arrival

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:


Daniel Wasonga (SEMIs Project Manager):

Florence Kiwunja(SEMIs Office Assistant);

George Bigirwa: Email:

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *