The Seed Control and Certification Institute of Zambia (SCCI) has urged farmers to be wary of fake seeds in the 2018/2019 planting season.
SCCI Head of Inspection, Nathan Phiri said famers should not buy seeds from the streets or other points that have no fixed aboard.
Dr. Phiri explained that it is always difficult to trace people who sale seeds along the streets when particular seeds fail to germinate or has other defects.
He told the media in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that farmers should instead buy seeds from licensed Agro-dealers.
“This is the time when unscrupulous people rise to the occasion and start selling fake seeds to unsuspecting farmers. Farmers should be careful and buy seeds from licensed agro dealers,” he said.
Dr. Phiri urged farmers to follow precautions before buying a preferred type of seed such as looking at the label, lot number and demanding for a receipt whenever they make a purchase.
During the 2017/2018 farming season 451 by 10 kilograms bags of fake seeds were sold to unsuspecting Small scale farmers in Lundazi District.
Meanwhile, Government has advised farmers to embrace new technologies in the agriculture sector in order to their increase productivity.
Ministry of Agriculture Principal Farmer Management Officer, Henry Mugomba said farmers should be encouraged to upgrade by embracing new technologies and not remain behind.
Mr. Mugomba told ZANIS in interview in Kabompo district that all agricultural services have been integrated with the Zambia Integrated Agricultural Management System (ZIAMIS) hence transactions done outside the system will not be recognized or paid for by government.
He disclosed that Kabompo will not use the pay code for farmer contribution and redeeming as it has now shifted to Atlas Mara bank which has also been integrated with ZIAMIS.
Mr Mugomba explained that beneficiary farmers under e-voucher will only be required to register their national registration card numbers and a unique mobile number with District Agriculture Coordinator’s office to receive a ZIAMIS code that will be used for redeeming of inputs.
He added that it will not be possible for someone to redeem on behalf of another farmer stating that all will have unique mobile numbers registered in the system.
Mr Mugomba said no agro-dealer should make a choice of products for any farmer during the redeeming process as they need to choose on their own depending on their needs.
He urged the office of the District Agriculture Coordinator (DAO) to ensure that farmers are adequately sensitized on the redeeming process within the specified period as they risk forfeiting their money if prolonged.