Lilongwe — Seed Trade Association of Malawi (STAM) has warned farmers in the country against the use of fake seeds arguing that they are low yielding and contribute to food insufficiency.
STAM Chairperson John Lungu Tuesday told a press briefing in Lilongwe that association would protect farmers from unscrupulous traders so that they benefit from high quality certified seeds.
"Every year our experience has been that, when we approach the rainy season, there are people who would like to enrich themselves unscrupulously by providing or making fake seed on the market.
"These seeds are very cheap to make sure that the farmers are buying from them, but we are warning farmers genuine seeds can only be accessed from reputable seed companies, reputable registered agro dealer that have been contracted to do this job," he said.
Lungu added that the Seed Trade Association of Malawi has contracted adequate agro dealer networks throughout the country to ensure accessibility of the certified seeds so that farmers should not travel long distances to access it.
"Agro dealers have license from government and contracts from seed companies whose seeds they are selling," Lungu said on how farmers can identify the agro dealers.
He further advised farmers against purchasing seeds displayed in open places such as those exposed to the sun or placed on chemicals like fertilizer and oil as they affect seed germination.
According to the STAM, seed companies in the country have an estimated combined total of 18,324 and 6,052 metric tons of certified maize and legume seeds respectively.