Army to blacklist fake seed companies

SERERE- Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) working under Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) have said they will blacklist all companies supplying fake seeds.

This follows several complaints by farmers in Serere District that officials implementing the National Agriculture Aisory Services (Naads) programme are supplying them with fake sorghum seeds that have failed to germinate.

The Naads executive director, Mr Samuel Mugasi, says he has confirmed this after visiting Serere District and hearing people’s testimonies on the supplied seeds.

“As members of OWC, we have no option but to blacklist the companies supplying fake seeds,” Mr Mugasi told Daily Monitor in a separate interview.

He was representing Gen Salim Saleh during the launch of a 200-metric tonne community grain warehouse and the Osamito-Otoba Labori 9.3km feeder road sponsored by World Food Programme under its agriculture and Market SupportPurchase for Progress programme.

The programme is implemented in collaboration with the government of Uganda, and OWC.

Serere District vice chairperson Simon Peter Odongo said: “The sorghum grows tall and looks like grass without seeds for food.”

He added that OWC officers should utilise the agricultural institutions to select and buy good quality seeds. Joseph Asugule, 32, a farmer, suggested that in the coming season, government should buy quality seeds locally.

THE BACKGROUND

Earlier this year, the UPDF under the OWC programme, was accused of supplying seeds that failed to germinate. Farmers that spoke to Daily Monitor then predicted low harvests.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture later exonerated the army on the allegation with State minister Vincent Ssempijja telling journalists that the role of the UPDF in this operation is to ensure supply but not quality.

He said the ministry tasked the department of crop inspection and certification to close that gap by not allowing seeds with less than 95 per cent germination capacity.

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SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR