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National Node of the BCH
Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2004-11-08 22:25 UTC (Andrea.Sonnino@fao.org)
Date of last update
2009-02-24 09:12 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2009-02-24 09:12 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)

General information
Title of the initiative
FAO Project on Capacity-Building of Regulatory Agencies for Handling Genetically Modified Crops, Products and Processed Foods in Kenya (TCP/KEN/3001)
Contact person
Dr. Andrea Sonnino
Senior Agricultural Research Officer
Research and Technology Development Service
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome
Phone:+39 65 705 5499
Fax:+39 65 705 3801
Url:FAO - Research and Technology Development (SDRR) - Biotechnology and biosafety
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • Kenya
  • CBD Regional Groups - Africa
  • Africa - Western Africa
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: Regulatory officers and technicians, namely NBC members, representatives of ministries, plant quarantine officials, regulatory inspectors, officers and technicians
Start Date
Ending date
Donor(s) information
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) - Biotechnology
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Italy, 00153
Phone:+39 (0) 6 57051
Fax:+39 (0) 6 570 53152
Url:Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) - Biotechnology
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Type of Organization: UN Agency
Budget amount
Availability of funds for participants
Activity details
Description of the initiative
The overall objective of the TCP assistance would be to assist the Government of Kenya in building overall human and infrastructural capacity within the principal regulatory bodies KEPHIS, KBS, and DVS, to efficiently and effectively carry out risk assessments and monitoring of various genetically modified products of biotechnology and Living Modified Organisms (LMOs). This capacity building will enable the regulatory agencies to be of greater technical and advisory assistance to the National Biosafety Committee, and to develop more effective collaboration among themselves in biosafety mattersText entry
• Enhance technical resource and indigenous capacity within the national regulatory agencies to carry out and oversee technical and support functions in biosafety operations. Upgrade capability of national regulatory agencies for dealing with the practical and technical aspects of biosafety of seeds, crops and feeds;
• Strengthen infrastructure and laboratory facilities of regulatory agencies to provide greater capacity to detect and handle products of biotechnology, particularly LMOs. Provide assistance in either establishing or facilitating co-sharing arrangements of containment facilities;
• Facilitate and enhance acquisition of technical information on biosafety, pertinent to Kenya and the region to assist with the biosafety processes of NBC;
• Promote partnerships and regional cooperation in capacity building. Facilitate close and effective collaboration and linkages among them as well as with more advanced research laboratories, donors, and other stakeholders, in the area of biosafety

National level activities
*Regulatory officers and technicians from KEPHIS, KBS, and DVS will receive practical and theoretical training in molecular biology techniques, GM detection and quantification, biosafety, biotechnology, risk analysis, as well as on legal and trade aspects.

*Biosafety related technical information will be made available to relevant Kenyan regulatory bodies that will assist the National Biosafety Committee.
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
The overall output will be an established  technical capacity of regulatory agencies of Kenya (through technical training assistance to KEPHIS, KBS, and DVS) to develop inspection and monitoring capacity for GM products. One of the major goals will be to integrate hands-on work experience of technical personnel as well as advance and strengthen the partnerships of the regulatory agencies with available expertise in biotechnology within country and in  the region. Detailed outputs of the project will be the following:

1. Thirty persons trained in biosafety. The trainees will be potential members of the National Biosafety Committee, staff of Ministry of Agriculture and other Ministries, plant quarantine officials and research officers of KEPHIS, KEBS and DVS and other national stakeholders who are members of the NBC.

2. Four regulatory inspectors from KEPHIS, and DVS and KEBS trained in advanced techniques and facilities used for GM detection and quantification, through a study tour to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Bio/Chemtek in Pretoria, South Africa.

3. Sixteen regulatory officers and technicians from KEPHIS, KEBS and DVS trained in basic principles and practical techniques of molecular biology- which are central to the GM detection, at the Plant Biodiversity and Genomics Facility (PBGF), at ILRI, Kenya. This facility is expected to be part of the New Bioscience Facility, which is a recent NEPAD initiative for a continent-wide network of centres of excellence in Africa.

4. Limited amount of laboratory equipment provided and collaborative user agreements developed with institutions in the region that already possess this state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. A key element would be purchase of one PCR machine to be housed at KEPHIS and shared with other regulatory agencies.

5. Biosafety related technical information made available to relevant Kenyan regulatory bodies in a CD-Rom format, including from available web-based sources and case studies that will assist the National Biosafety Committee.

6. Partnerships and possibilities for expanding capacity building in technical aspects and in other areas with stakeholders identified
General thematic area(s)
  • Institutional capacity
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Biosafety policy and regulation
  • LMO use and transboundary movement