Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Call for stiffer penalties on fake seed traders

Call for stiffer penalties on fake seed traders

Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter—

The seed industry says Government should come up with stiffer penalties for people selling fake seed as the current $20 fine is not deterrent enough. Zimbabwe Seed Traders Association president Mr Denias Zaranyika said this during a tour of Seed Co’s processing plant at Mt Hampden by Government officials yesterday.Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education who is also Zanu-PF secretary for Labour and Production Josaya Hungwe, toured the seed company to assess the state of preparedness of the seed houses for the season.

The minister is also expected to visit fertiliser companies.

Mr Zaranyika said the seed industry had enough seed for the nation and had already distributed it to farming areas across the country.

He said stock theft attracted a nine year jail term, but people selling fake seed paid a $20 fine.

“It is disturbing that some people spend their hard-earned cash buying fake seed and compromise on their yields.”

He raised concern over the continued practice of selling fake seed.

“Due to technology, some unscrupulous people can scan seed packaging from different seed houses and package fake seed. Some unsuspecting farmers end up buying fake seed. This compromises yields.

“The problem has extended to chemicals and fertilisers,” he said.

Seed Co production manager Mr Farai Zvavamwe said some farmers were not able to tell the difference between fake and genuine seed, and would only realise it after getting poor germination or low yields.

Minister Hungwe said it was important for the seed industry to reach out to farmers and educate them on the importance of agriculture. He said the industry should come up with a seed day where farmers would learn different varieties available, new farming technologies and the problems they encounter.

Seed Co is one of the major suppliers of inputs for Command Agriculture.

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