Government to arrest fake seed dealers

State minister for agriculture, Mr Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja pressing a button to start the seed processing plant at Brac agriculture research centre in Nakaseke town. Photo by Joseph Kato

NAKASEKE. Government has castigated seed dealers for selling substandard products which have caused decline of the agriculture outputs on both local and international markets.
The state minister for agriculture Mr Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja said government will arrest anyone found selling fake seeds.
According thim, many farmers incur losses as a result of growing fake seeds which they buy from dishonest traders.
“Agriculture is the backbone of this country. We cannot watch as farmers’ efforts are being frustrated by dishonest seed traders. We are going to arrest whoever will be found selling fake seeds. We are going to do with the help of farmers,” Mr Ssempijja said.

He made the remarks at the inauguration ceremony of a seed processing plant and tissue culture laboratory at Brac agriculture research centre in Nakaseke town.
Mr Ssempijja admitted that his ministry is partly to blame for the limited information to the suppliers who are accused of taking advantage of the information gap to duplicating the seeds in order to meet the demand.

“Majority of our farmers lack knowledge on how to identify substandard seeds. We are going to conduct massive sensitization of our farmers on how to scrutinize substandard seedlings,” Mr Ssempijja said.
According to the Commissioner in Charge of Crop Protection at the Ministry of Agriculture Mr Komayombi Bulegeya, Uganda has only 25 registered seed companies which produce only 10% of the seeds for planting hence creating a very big vacuum for genuine seed supply.
"The fake seed dealers account for more than 35% of the seeds on the market. We need to support the genuine seed producers and also engage the dealers in all the process to deny the fake dealers access to any material that can help the fake the seeds," Mr Komayombi said.
About the plant
The commissioned seed processing plant according to Mr Muhammad Bhuiyan Imran the Country Representative for Brac has a production capacity of 50 metric tonnes of seeds per day while the Tissue Culture Lab has the capacity to produce about 1000 pieces of plantlets.