KALRO Seed Unit (KSU) was established as a Foundation Seed Unit (FSU) in May 1997. This was renamed KSU in 1999 to conform to the terms used in The Seed and Plant Varieties Act. “Cap 326”.
KSU undertook the activity of open pollinated variety (OPV) seed production since many seed producers are not interested in (OPVs). Most commercial seed companies cite the lack of demand for this kind of seed. Usually farmers recycle seed from the previous grain harvest and this limits the interest of commercial seed companies to produce the seed. However, after a bad season, farmers have inadequate seed and are forced to plant any available grain ‘seed’ with serious consequences which may lead to decreased food productivity.
The formal sector purchases breeder seed while informal sector procures basic seed for further multiplication. Seed companies use breeder or basic seed purchased from KSU to produce certified seeds. KSU also multiplies certified seeds of varieties suitable for semi-arid areas and planting materials for sale to farmers. This is done through selected seed growers assisted by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) through various seed projects.