SEED manufacturer, Seed-Co, has partnered with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to fight the growing fake maize seed industry on the local market.
Addressing journalists, ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said incidences of farmers who were being duped with fake seed were on the increase.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police and Seed-co have noted with concern the proliferation of fake and counterfeit maize seed which is being sold to unsuspecting farmers through informal markets in various parts of the country,” he said.
“The ZRP will, therefore, enforce provisions of the Seed Act, chapter 19:13 and ensure that the law takes its course on anyone found selling fake or counterfeit maize seed. Police and Seed-co officials will work together to identify fake seed and farmers are implored to cooperate as they plan for the forthcoming agricultural season.”
According to statistics from Seed-co, in 2019 at least 75 tonnes of fake seed maize were confiscated from 45 identified sources. However, only 10 convictions were recorded during the same period.
Seed-co spokesperson Marjorie Mutemererwa said deterrent sentences should be passed on those found selling fake seed.
“Our advocacy to stop the purchase of counterfeit products emanates from protecting our customer’s returns,” she said.
“We will engage and lobby the Ministry of Justice, to ensure that the sentences that these people are given are deterrent.”
– New Ziana