Principal Laboratory Analyst
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is the government parastatal whose responsibility is to assure the quality of agricultural inputs and produce to prevent adverse impact on the economy, the environment and human health. Vision: Healthy plants, safe trade and sustainable aggro-environment for a prosperous Kenya. Mission: To provide a science based regulatory service by assuring plant health, quality of agricultural inputs and produce for food security, globally competitive agriculture and sustainable development. Core values Customer focus Professionalism and Integrity Teamwork Results oriented Innovation and Creativity Corporate social sustainability Strategic Objectives To protect plants from pests, weeds and invasive species. To facilitate review and strengthening of the policy, legal and regulatory framework, so that it is in tandem with both local and international agricultural sector emerging issues. To contribute towards improved levels of agricultural productivity. To support compliance to market requirements. To build adequate technical and infrastructural capacity to facilitate efficient and effective delivery of the KEPHIS mandate. To mobilize adequate financial resources and ensure optimal allocation and utilization to enable full implementation of planned programmers and activities. To enhance synergies through information and resource sharing with stakeholders and partners. To enhance the visibility and corporate image of KEPHIS
Duties and responsibilities: -
- Conduct chemical and biological testing on agricultural produce and agro-inputs for compliance to market requirements and standards for realization of the institutional mandate;
- Review and validate processed test results for accuracy and integrity before approval for dispatch to clients;
- Conduct technical laboratory assessments, system audits, review audit findings, develop and implement corrective/improvement action plans in the section;
- Conduct national surveillance sampling programs for monitoring of pesticide residues, microbiological, mycotoxins, agro-inputs quality and heavy metal contaminants in agricultural produce for compliance to food safety and market requirements;
- Undertake accurate detection and identification of regulated and non-regulated quarantine pests;
- Undertake Tissue culture cleanup and micro-propagation of plants and germplasm maintenance;
- Undertake Genetically Modified Organisms testing for detection, identification and quantification of events in support of the Biosafety act of 2009 and its regulations;
- Participate in developing of new pest diagnosis protocols;
- Participate in identification of risks related to laboratory activities to minimize, leverage and identify potential challenges before they occur;
- Participate in developing client reports for purposes of decision making;
- Support Pest Risk Analysis activities to advice on pest status and update pest listing the country;
- Support laboratory research activities towards strengthening Phytosanitary and seed regulation;
- Supervise implementation of ISO/IEC 17025 standard guidelines;
- Generate technical specifications for equipment, apparatus and other implements and perform technical evaluation for media, reagents, chemicals and equipment that ensure acceptable levels of analytical performance;
- Review workflow in the section/unit to ensure compliance with set performance timelines;
- Review test requests submitted by clients for decision making on laboratory capability to test the submitted samples;
- Audit food systems of export food business operators for compliance;
- Supervise tests on proficiency testing, inter-laboratory and intra-laboratory samples comparisons organized in the section/units as a quality assurance and control measure to ensure validity of results;
- Compile data on the performance of the laboratory through weekly monthly, quarterly and annual reports to monitor compliance to Customer service charter;
- Prepare, reviews and implements laboratory protocols and Standard Operating Procedures for suitability and relevance in line with international standard requirements;
- Prepare and submit performance reports outlining the extent of adherence to set targets and plans;
- Participation in the Service project activities and awareness creation and training stakeholders;
- Represent the Service in relevant stakeholder forums;
- Induct new staff in all areas of laboratory analysis;
- Offer agronomic and new technological advice on soil, water, plant health matters as well as providing crop specific advice based on analytical data in relation to crop nutritional needs; and
- Support research and development programs of the Service.
For appointment to this grade, a candidate must have: -
- Bachelor of Science Degree in any of the following; Agriculture, Analytical Chemistry, Horticulture, seed technology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology Chemistry, Biochemistry, applied microbiology, applied Biology, Applied Biological Science,
- Masters in any of the following; seed technology, Plant Nutrition, Soil science, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Crop protection, Agronomy, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Applied B
- Served for at least eight (8) years related work experience three (3) of which must be in a supervisory position; and
- Meets the provisions of the Chapter Six (6) of the Constitution of Kenya.
- Computer applications proficiency. Statistical packages will be an added advantage;
- Excellent problem solving skills;
- Communication skills,
- Data analysis skills,
- Report writing and presentation skills.
- Ability to work independently and in a team;
- Ability to make decisions independently;
- Work well under pressure and prioritize work;
- Knowledge in international standard on good laboratory practice; and
- Experience with a Laboratory Quality Management System.
Method of Application
Applicants should visit the online portal located in the Careers section of KEPHIS website (www.kephis.go.ke) to submit applications electronically. Clearly indicate the position and the vacancy number on the subject line, with a detailed curriculum vitae, certified copies of academic and professional certificates, transcripts, national identification cards and any other supporting documents (as pdf attachments) not later than 13th February, 2024 at 5.00 p.m.
KEPHIS is an equal opportunity employer. Potential candidates from marginalized communities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
- Shortlisted candidates will be required to avail their original and certified copies of the relevant certificates & transcripts and original national identity card during the interview.
- Successful candidates must obtain and submit valid clearance certificates from Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA); Higher Education Loans Board (HELB); Directorate of Criminal Investigation and an approved Credit Reference Bureau as per Chapter six of the Constitution.
The Managing Director
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) P.O. Box 49592-00100