Tanzania: Govt Launches Counterfeit Agricultural Inputs Detection Technology

THE government has officially launched a technology that will now make it possible to detect counterfeit agricultural inputs that has for many years cost the social-economy affecting anticipated productivity in the sector.

Launching the technology here yesterday, the Minister for Agriculture Japhet Hasunga said the proper use and accessibility of the technology called T-Hakiki by the farmers will revolutionalise the agricultural sector to an impressive rate.

"I take this opportunity to commend all the stakeholders behind this innovation which apart from being used to detect counterfeit seeds and pesticides, it should also be applied in detecting counterfeit fertilisers which has remained public outcry for years," he said.

T-Hakiki was developed by the Tanzania Telecommunication Corporation (TTCL) in collaboration with other agricultural stakeholders Tanzania Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI), Tanzania Official Seeds Certification Institute (TOSCI) and the Tanzania Fertilisers Regulatory Authority (TFRA).

According to Minister Hasunga, the decision to adopt the technology was emphasized by the Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan when she was opening the Nanenane exhibition here last year directing for the responsible Ministry to address all challenges facing the Agricultural sector including counterfeit inputs.

In working to the directives, the Minister said in 2019/2020 TPRI conducted inspection exercise to 222 inputs dealers in seven regions in the country as well as providing training to 765 to farmers, extension officers and inputs sellers across the country.

Earlier, the TTCL Chief Executive Officer Waziri Kindamba said T-Hakiki will safeguard the lives of the farmers whilst driving financial inclusion efforts in the country.

"The technology aims at realigning agriculture in Tanzania by providing accessible, scalable solution for smallholder farmers and bundle verification with inputs farmers already use ," he said.

T-Hakiki is an SMS based scheme that involves dialing USSD code *148*52# and texting a unique serial number provided in each seedbag, fertiliser pack or pesticides containers to verify the authenticity of the inputs and is available across all mobile Network operators free of charge.

A section of farmers told the 'Sunday News' that the technology has come at the right time and will relieve them of the massive losses they incurred as a result of using substandard and counterfeit inputs.

The launching ceremony was also attended by TPRI Executive Director Magreth Mollel, TOSCI Director General Patrick Ngwediagi, farmers' representatives and the general public attending the ongoing Nanenane exhibition here.

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