By Audrey Kapalamula:
The government has said it is working on measures to flash out fake seed traders on the seed market, including formulating a bill that would provide stiff punishments.
Controller of Agriculture Services, in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Masankho Bulirani, said it was high time farmers were protected from fake seed traders by putting in place a law to completely deal away with the malpractice.
He made the remarks on the sidelines of a national dissemination workshop marking the end of the Malawi Improved Seed Systems and Technologies meeting.
“We are working on is to make sure that a seed bill which is going to be a law is going to come up with appropriate punishments for people who try to sell fake seed,” Bulirani said
Bulirani said the ministry was working with partners to devise technologies that would assist farmers identify fake seed on the market
He said some of the partners are from Kenya and Uganda.
Seed Traders Association Chairperson, John Lungu, admitted that fake seeds were threatening the industry.
“We are developing IT platforms which shall be used to guarantee the quality of seed. There are several players that are making a fortune on fake seed but the platform that we are going to develop now will curtail the malpractice,” he said
There are over 20 seed companies in the seed industry.