Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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The regional manager of Kephis Mr. Alfred Musuya displaying some of the seeds that were impounded in Kitale town. Photo/ Saka Richard
Farmers in Trans Nzoia have called on the Government to arrest dealers in fake maize seeds, saying no action has been done to the recently arrested dealers.
Speaking to journalists in Kitale on behalf of the farmers, Mr. Joel Gesuka a prominent farmer in the region said that since the fake seeds were brought to the limelight over two weeks ago, they have not realized any serious action taken against the implicated seed dealers.
“We got information through the media that there were fake maize seeds discovered within a number of seed dealers in Kitale town but since then we have not witnessed any legal action taken against the dealers hence the farmers fear that they might end up attaining poor yields this season,” said Gesuka a retired civil servant. (Read: Kitale Police impound fake Maize Seed
He revealed that fear has gripped hundreds if not thousands of farmers who had already bought seeds from the dealers and other suspected outlets hence many of them are worried might get poor yields this season due to the fake seeds they acquired.
He said that if no serious action is taken against the mentioned dealers then most of the farmers will shift to go into coffee farming, fish and horticultural farming to make their ends meet.
Mr. Joel Gesuka
At the same time the farmers proposed that the licenses of the implicated seed dealers should be withdrawn by Kenya Seed Company and seed certifying company KEPHIS so that farmers can be assured of certified seeds sold in market.
They also pointed out that the government should also look into the supply of fertilizer and other farm inputs which they suspect might also be fake.
“How can we be sure of the fertilizer that we bought from the same outlets if this is what is happening in maize seed, and thus we want the government arms to step in and ensure that farm inputs sold to them are the certified ones,” the farmers representative told reporters.
Trans Nzoia region is perceived to be the major maize producing zone in the entire country dubbed the ‘food basket’ of the country and hence such experiences might be discouraging to the farmers who have in the years shown their commitment in producing maize.
The same farmers have faced other challenges in the maize production especially the prices of the maize products at the end of the season that are always far much below the expected ones bearing in mind the high costs of inputs incurred by the farmers throughout the process.
It has been established that maize dealers who do not invest in farming reap from maize more than the serious farmers who spend a lot in the process as the dealers just keep their money and come at the end of the season to buy the products at unregulated prices that end up leaving the farmers operating at greater losses.
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