Cooperatives & Communities

Apac maize farmers’ SACCO alerted of counterfeit seeds on market

APAC – Members of Abulomogo Maize Farmers’ SACCO have been cautioned to be cautious of counterfeit seeds supplied by unlicensed companies and distribution agents in the country.

Abulomogo Maize Farmers’ SACCO, formerly called Arocha Farmers’ Group, was formed in 2018. The SACCO, which is located in Kidilani Parish, Chegere Sub-county in Apac district has 2,800 members.

Addressing the SACCO Members on Wednesday during a monitoring visit to the SACCO, James Ongu, the Apac district production coordinator, says that most farmers buy fake seeds from unscrupulous dealers, especially during the planting seasons.

“We are aware that during planting seasons like now, unscrupulous traders take advantage of the farmers who are unable to differentiate between original and counterfeit seeds. We are on high alert and we want to ask you to be keen on the seeds you are purchasing and report individuals trading in uncertified seeds,” Ongu said.

“Don’t fall prey because planting such fake seeds results in low crop productivity and I encourage you to buy certified seeds from licensed dealers to boost income and food security,” he added.

Asante Odongo, Apac district LCV chairman encouraged the SACCO members to address the issue of poor quality harvests by planting their seeds in time and dealing with post-harvest handling challenges in order to boost the marketability of their produce.

“My appeal to you is that you plant your seeds in time. It is necessary that you do a market feasibility study before planting and invest in commercial farming to alleviate poverty,” he said.

Nelson Adeka, the Abulomogo SACCO chairperson advised his members to practice good farming methods like crop rotation to conserve land and boost production.

According to Adeka, the SACCO that depends entirely on farming has grown from 34 members in 2018 to 2,800 members in 2023.

“We started small but we have grown big and we still intend to grow bigger. Our members depend on farming to raise their savings,” he said, adding that the SACCO currently has a loan portfolio of Shs 200 million and intends to grow maize on the large scale.

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