KABALE – Ministry of Agriculture officials and Uganda Police Force have raided Kabale District, impounding fake agro inputs worth millions of Shillings from several agro input shops in Kabale district.
The operation led by Fred Muzira, the Agricultural Inspector in the department of Crop Inspection and Certification in the Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Ministry, targeted agro put dealers in Kabale Taxi Park, Bushekwiire road and along Kabale road.
The officials were shocked to find some of the dealers either selling fake agro inputs or agricultural chemicals to unsuspecting farmers.
Most of the fake and expired agro inputs were recovered from Green Firm Africa Uganda Limited (Kabale branch).
According to Muzira, some of the fake products that were impounded include 1200 litres of green organic manure and 500 kilograms of infested bean seeds.
Muzira also says that hundreds of boxes including expired fertilizers were also found in stock ready to be sold to farmers.
He told PML Daily that among the impounded fertilizers include, Booster and Rapid Grow, which don’t have approval from government.
Muzira says that they were also surprised to find some of the dealers selling urine packed in small jerry cans disguised as liquid fertilizer.
He says half of the fake and expired agro inputs were burnt to ashes at Kigezi Private Sector Promotion Sector in Kabale town as a lesson to dealers to deal with genuine products.
Geoffrey Kayemba, a police officer who is attached to the team, says they picked up three suspects during the Monday operation and handed them over to Kabale Police Station to explain why they were dealing in fake agricultural inputs.
The operation comes amidst complaints from farmers in western Uganda about the proliferation of fake and expired agro inputs on the market. Farmers have repeatedly faulted agriculture officials for remaining silent on the fake inputs, which affects their productivity.
According to the Agricultural Chemical Protection Act 2006, anyone found guilty of selling fake agro inputs is liable to imprisonment for five years or a fine of Shillings 2.5 million.