Famers In Bugisu Sub-region Can’t Differentiate Genuine And Counterfeit Agro-inputs
By Melanie Aanyu
Research by the Anti-Counterfeit Network Africa has revealed that 72 percent of the farmers within the Bugisu sub-region cannot differentiate between genuine and counterfeit agro-inputs.
The study conducted in March and April 2022 was driven by common narratives about farmers’ experiences with fertilizers, seeds, and other agricultural inputs.
The survey also revealed that 71 percent of the farmers who acquired the counterfeit products, especially seeds, bought them from mobile shops or vans as opposed to permanent suppliers.
According to Ronnet Atukunda from Makerere Business School and lead researcher, to test the quality of agricultural inputs, researchers focused on seeds and on fertilizer in the districts of Mbale and Sironko.
She said key among their findings was that the vast majority of fertilizers and seed samples were substandard which led to losses by farmers.
Hussein Kaguje, a small-scale farmer in Mbale city says that the increasing agro input counterfeits on the market have affected their yields. He says this is caused by the failure of farmers to differentiate between the fake and genuine.
Samuel Khauka, the Acting Mbale City Agriculture Officer says that the input dealers aim at maximizing profits and don’t mind about the health of the consumers. He notes that most of the counterfeits are seen in livestock feeds, fertilizers, and chemicals which would translate into poor performance of crops and animal products.