What you need to know:
- According to Mr Fred Muzira, a drug inspector from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the team from the Ministry decided to storm Kyotera town after being tipped off by informants in the area
Police in Kyotera District are holding five traders on allegations of selling fake and expired agro-inputs to farmers.
According to Mr Fred Muzira, a drug inspector from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the team from the Ministry decided to storm Kyotera town after being tipped off by informants in the area.
"We have informants in every part of the country. We were therefore, tipped and managed to get expired and fake herbicides and pesticides which were being sold out to farmers,” he said after conducting the operation on Friday.
Fake and expired agro-inputs worth millions of shillings were seized from the suspects.
He added that their team identified different traders who cared less about the fake drugs in their shops yet the farmers who buy the pesticides are not able to tell a difference between the fake drugs and genuine ones.
"Government is putting much emphasis on the Parish Development Model (PDM) programme and most of these people will engage in farming thereby buying fertilizers and other farm inputs to boost their work. Therefore, we not give room to such people who intend to bring losses to farmers thereby making the whole PDM project a mess,” he added.
Mr Muzira further said the rogue traders take advantage of the ignorance of some farmers who don't mind to crosscheck the herbicides and give them fake ones with an intention of making higher profits.
Mr George Kajubi, a tomato farmer in Lwanda Sub County, Rakai District lauded the ministry officials for the operation.
"Herbicides and pesticides we buy from those shops don't at times serve the purpose that we buy them for. We thank the officials from the Ministry for their intervention,” he said.
Mr Hassan Hiwumbire, the Kyotera District Police Commander, said the culprits are currently detained at Kyotera Police Station and will soon be arraigned in court.
"It's true these people have been identified by the drug inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture as sellers of fake drugs to farmers. We are therefore, going to take responsible measures to make sure such cases are eliminated from our community," he explained.
Despite several police operations to weed out rogue agro-input dealers, there's increasing public outcry about counterfeit or expired farm inputs such as pesticides.