Zimbabwean founded Africa’s largest seed producer, Seed Company, Seed Co and Zimbabwe Republic Police ZRP emphasised that fake seed was retrogressive to farming and national development at a Press conference held in Harare.
The Press Conference which signaled the two organisation’s partnership devised to curb rampant counterfeiting of seed as the country nears the 2022-2023 farming season comes after the seizure of 7.8 tonnes of fake seed in a recent blitz.
The seed company emphasised the distortion fake seeds had on farmers outputs as they invested heavily to see to their brands guaranteeing high yields against the cheap counterfeits.
“Our Seed-Co varieties undergone intense research processes to ensure that they are high yielding across all series from the ultra early to the late varieties.” The Managing Director for Seed Co, Terrence Chimanya said.
With the world fighting the potential impact of climate change, the company highlighted how counterfeiting deprived farmers of brands that were climate smart owing to the scientific research.
“We have invested in scientific research and technologies that enable the production of locally adaptable genetics for every agroecological. Region. Our drive as Seedco is towards the development of climate-smart varieties that guarantee farmer productivity and high return per dollar.” Chimanya also highlighted.
The press conference highlighted how the counterfeiting spree had not only worked against their brands but the nation as a whole.
“The impact caused by fake seed is huge both on the economic and social fronts, with hunger due to poor harvests leading to depleted levels of income. Moreover, the negative impact on the national yield target is severe.” The Seed Co Managing Director said.
Furthermore, the National Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi concurred in saying “ This is threatening the nation’s efforts to alleviate hunger in line with the National Development Strategy 1.”
Calls were made for government to adopt more restrictive strategies that could help curb this unwanted purge on agricultural development through legislative reform.
“As we work together to confront this challenge head-on our request to our law enforcers is for heavy penalties. Current penalties are non detergent, We seek a sentencing review to curb the threat of fake seed.” Chimanya further highlighted.
Police and Seed Co emphasised that they would be enforcing the campaign to protect Zimbabwe’s farming interests and called for the public to utilize the following numbers to notify of any suspicious activity.
Harare; 0242 748836, Bulawayo; 0242 748836, National Complaints Desk, 0242 703631 or the WhatsApp platform on 0712800197.
A total of close to 8 tonnes of counterfeit seed was recently seized and destroyed when a fake production unit was raided in Avondale West and other sites across Harare’s locations.