Runyararo Muzavazi Herald Reporter
THE seed industry says Government must impose custodial sentences on fake seed dealers to curb the illegal practice.
Speaking at a recent Rattray Arnold Research Station tour by parliamentarians, Seed Co managing director and Africa Seed Trade Association president Mr Denias Zaranyika appealed to Government on behalf of all 22 seed companies in Zimbabwe.
“As the seed industry, I would want to make a special appeal to policymakers to come up with laws and strict penalties that increase controls on circulation of fake seeds on the market,” he said.
Manufacturers and suppliers of counterfeit maize seed colour the product using green or pink tint, before selling to unsuspecting customers.
Mr Zaranyika pleaded with Government to take action to stop such illegal practice to guarantee a favourable environment for the seed industry.
“We would want Government and seed regulators to take necessary actions to fight against any factors that disturb the seed systems and stop these unfair practices,’’ he said.
“This will ensure a conducive environment for the seed business in which the registered seed companies can work efficiently, contribute to food security and improve livelihoods of our people.”
Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Christopher Chitindi said their committee will take the issue up because such practices had far-reaching consequences.
“We will discuss it and act effectively considering the new Government policies like Command Agriculture and the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme which could be affected,’’ he said.
“These practices are compromising the country’s food security and damaging the reputation of the companies being used to brand the fake seeds.”