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Principal Seed

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


Job Specifications

Duties and responsibilities: - 

  • Coordinating and conducting pest risk analysis of plants, plant products, other regulated articles and biological articles and control agents, pest listing, reviewing and updating plant import requirements and issuance of plant import permits;
  • Approval of applications by new clients and coordinating audits/inspection of facilities before registration;
  • Coordinating and undertaking farm/facility audits/inspection of plants, plant products and other regulated articles destined for export;
  • Coordinating and conducting inspection of imported seed, plants, plant products and other regulated articles or those intended for export at official entry points and issuance of phytosanitary certificates;
  • Coordinating seed certification activities including field inspection, sampling, post certification surveys and post control;
  • Development, review and implementation of guidelines and training curriculum for private persons undertaking authorized activities on behalf of the Service;
  • Coordinating National Performance Trials and Distinct Uniformity and Stability trials.
  • Processing and examining applications for Plant Variety Protection;
  • Coordination of plant quarantine control and conducting pest surveillance, monitoring, emergency response and reporting of new pests;
  • Coordinating seedling nursery certification inspections to ensure timely audit of seedling nurseries and availability of clean seedlings;
  • Undertake national, regional and international trade relations;
  • Coordinating the resolution of appeals by aggrieved clients;
  • Conducting inspection of bio-containment facilities, GMO approved activities and facilities for compliance with phytosanitary requirements and conducting market surveillance for GMO;
  • Participating in activities for maintaining border security together with other government agencies by implementing various border surveillance strategies;
  • Coordination development and implementation of training programs and curriculum on seed, phytosanitary, NPT and DUS matters for capacity building of KEPHIS technical staff and stakeholders to enhance staff competence and efficiency in service deliver
  • Coordinating phytosanitary audits conducted by importing countries to ensure market access.
  • Monitoring of databases for information security and accuracy and participate in review and updating of electronic systems;
  • Proposing areas of review of laws and regulations and participate in development of regulations and policies on plant health matters, seed certification and PVP to ensure proper regulatory framework;
  • Initiating development and coordinating implementation of policies, guidelines and strategies, protocols, manuals, to align with national and international requirements, new technologies and emerging issues on seed, phytosanitary matters and plant va
  • Participate in Standards setting activities at national and international levels;
  • Support management of WTO-SPS enquiry points for plant health to track notifications which have bearing on Kenya trade;
  • Monitoring to ensure phytosanitary, seed certification & PVP non-compliances are evaluated and resolved for efficiency in service delivery;
  • Coordinate participation in stakeholder activities at national and county level to sensitize them on seed and phytosanitary certification and plant variety protection issues;
  • Support and undertake research activities towards strengthening seed, phytosanitary and plant variety protection regulation and bridging gaps in missing data;
  • Coordination of implementation and maintenance of Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001:2015, ISO/IEC 27001:2013) for delivery of quality services and trade facilitation.

Persons Specification 

For appointment to this grade, a candidate must have: -

  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Biotechnology, Entomology, Crop Protection, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Seed Technology, Seed Science, Horticulture, Agronomy, Botany or its equivalent from a University recognized in Kenya.
  • Master of Science in Plant Pathology, Seed Science, Biotechnology, Entomology, Crop Protection, Molecular Biology, Plant Breeding, Horticulture, Agronomy, Botany, Zoology or its equivalent from a University recognized in Kenya.
  • Professional qualification and membership where applicable;
  • Served for at least eight (8) years related work experience three (3) of which must be in a supervisory position;
  • Attended a Senior Management course lasting not less than four (4) weeks;
  • Meets the provisions of the Chapter Six (6) of the Constitution of Kenya.


  • Proficiency in computer applications. Literacy in statistical packages will be an added advantage; 
  • Excellent problem solving skills; 
  • Communication skills; 
  • Leadership skills; 
  • Problem solving skills; 
  • Negotiation Skills; 
  • Analytical skills; 
  • Interpersonal skills; 
  • Creativity; 
  • Data analysis skills; 
  • Report writing and presentation skills; 
  • Team player 


  • Ability to work independently; 
  • Ability to make decisions independently; 
  • Work well under pressure and prioritize work; 
  • Demonstrated results in work performance; 
  • Demonstrated knowledge in international standards and Quality Management Systems; 
  • Demonstrated outstanding professional competence. 

Position Supervising

  • Senior Seed/Plant Inspector

Method of Application

Applicants should visit the online portal located in the Careers section of KEPHIS website ( 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