Masaka — At least six people have been arrested as fake and expired agro-inputs worth millions of shillings are seized in greater Masaka.
The suspects were arrested on Tuesday during an operation by the ministry of agriculture under the department of crop inspection and certification, to crack down on substandard inputs.
Two suspects were picked from Mpigi District, three from Masaka and one from Lwengo District after they were found with no registration certificate from the ministry authorizing them to sell agro -input products. They were detained at different police stations in their respective districts.
Mr Isaac Wamatsembe, the MAAIF inspector who led the Greater Masaka operation said, 'The operations began on Monday in Mpigi District and is aimed at eliminating substandard agricultural inputs with the targeting of improving the quality of agricultural output.
He said the operation was in response to continuous complaints by farmers about the low quality and fake inputs flooding the market.
"The department of crop inspection and for regulation of inputs took drastic measures through compliance and enforcement inspection to reign on errant dealers," he said.
He further noted that inputs worth millions of shillings were seized from different shops and these were unregistered products, expired products, obsolete products, fake chemicals, defaced products, altered expiry dates, unlabeled products and suspicious products among others.
Mr Fred Muzira, the agricultural inspector who led eastern region operation said," close to 1,500 liters of unregistered purported fertilizers called green organic manure and suspected fake products like Rapid grow and Booster were impounded from Kabale, Ntungamo and Bushenyi.
"At least 50litres of assorted expired pesticides have also been impounded, 150kg of expired seeds have also been withdrawn from the market. However, compared to previous enforcement we are seeing great improvement," he said.