Dealers want govt to establish seed certification policy

Wednesday November 25 2020

Dr Alex Barekye, the director for Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research and Development Institute (KaZARDI)explains the agronomy of Irish potatoes. Farmers are advised to use certified seeds. PHOTO/FILE/LOMINDA AFEDRARU

By Rachel Nabisubi

Seed dealers, through Uganda Seed Traders Association have asked government to put in place seed certification to improve cross-border movement. 

The certification, according to dealers, will not only provide a favorable ground for completion but will also enable realisation of the Comesa and East Africa seed protocols. 

The protocols seeks to harmonise movement of seeds in the two regions. 
Speaking at a meeting to launch a seed movement development project in Kawanda, Wakiso District, Mr Nelson Maseruka, the Uganda Seed Traders Association chief executive officer, said government must put in place laws that will harmonise the seed industry to ease cross border trade.  

“There is a need to form avenues to ease cross border seed movement. We want government to harmonise laws,” he said, noting the delay involved in movement of seeds at borders has made the process expensive. 

Rigorous exercise
However, Mr Paul Mwambu, the Ministry of agriculture commissioner crop inspection and certification, said whereas government was committed to improving the industry, the certification process involves a lot of procedures, which will take longer to achieve.  “The seeds have life and it is important to ensure every step in the movement chain focuses on efficient handling. The use of fake seeds is increasing among farmer communities resulting in poor yields,” he said, adding: “The certification process is a rigorous exercise based on science right from the production.”  

The seed industry, Mr Joseph Bazaale, a former assistant commissioner of crop inspection at the Ministry of Agriculture, is the engine of farming thereby quality standards must be ensured in the value chain to support production and improved yield.