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Government crackdown on fake seed suppliers

By Sammy Waweru December 29th, 2023 1 min read

The government has launched an operation to crack down on fake seed sellers across the country.

Paul Rono, the Permanent Secretary at the State Department of Crop at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, revealed the government had deployed several Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) officers to enforce the initiative.

According to Dr Rono, this move is a key intervention by the Agriculture Ministry to ensure that farmers acquire the right farm inputs.

“The government is committed to ensuring food security and addressing hunger. Having correct and appropriate agricultural inputs is crucial for increasing production. KEPHIS officers are already on the ground to enforce the seed directive,” stated the PS in an exclusive interview with Nairobi News.

These officers are tasked with inspecting seed suppliers and agro vets.

In 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture launched scratch-off sticker labels for packages of all certified crop and vegetable seeds.

The KEPHIS stickers aim to counter the sale of fake seeds.

Farmers are required to scratch the label on the sticker and send the tracking number to the provided code to verify the legitimacy of the seeds.

All seed processors and suppliers are obligated to comply with this directive.

According to the Seeds Trade Association of Kenya (STAK), an umbrella body representing both private and public seed processors and distributors, farmers are increasingly adopting the digital system to access genuine seeds.

Currently, the uptake is over 80 percent, with the organisation acknowledging a decline in the number of reported cases of fake seeds.

In the last five months, only three cases have been reported across the country.

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