70 kilograms of counterfeit maize seed has been confiscated from unscrupulous seed dealers in Isoka district of Muchinga Province.
The counterfeit maize seed which was pre-parked in 2kg packs was confiscated by Seed Inspector (SI) George Tembo in a combined team of agriculture staff and police officers during an operation at Isoka old market.
District Agricultural Coordinator Victor Siame disclosed that the Seed Analyst from the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) in Kasama, Dennis Tonga issued an instruction to confiscate all the counterfeit seed which when planted compromises germination and crop yields, leading to loss of food and income for the small scale farmers.
Mr. Siame said unsuspecting farmers are swindled out of their money with maize coated with brown chalk and brown powder commonly known as mwandaba, to deceive the farmers who have been buying and planting this uncertified seed for some time now.
He said the owners of the seed could not be identified as they did not declared ownership for fear of being implicated.
Mr. Siame strongly warned the unscrupulous dealers to desist from the bad vice of misleading the unsuspecting farmers as they risk being prosecuted under the seed certification and control institute cap 236 of the laws of Zambia.
The DACO cautioned farmers to against getting seed from the market and advised them to buy seed from recognised and licensed seed dealers who deal in tested and certified seed whose performance is assured, adding that seed is the key to any successful crop production. Ends/Hm/NAIS/Isoka