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How To Tell Genuine Seeds

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As farmers struggle to increase production, they continue to be frustrated by fake seeds being sold on the market. As a result, many farmers are making big losses. Some have even stopped buying them, resorting to untreated seeds, which are vulnerable to disease and pest attack, and are less productive.
The people dealing in fake seeds are taking advantage of the farmers’ inability to tell fake from genuine seeds. To the average farmer, for example, any green maize seed is DK hybrid, while red is FICA hybrid maize, which is wrong.
Experts from the Uganda National Agro-inputs Dealers Association (UNADA) say seed colour is not proof of quality. The green or red colour could just be ordinary dye. We have too many fake dealers in the country that we should take note of because they are making it difficult for our clients who have genuine products to compete.
Telling genuine from fake seeds
Improved seeds should be properly packaged, labelled and sealed. Certified seeds should have a certificate from a seed certification agency. Farmers are advised to always buy seeds from well-established seed dealers. The seeds should be sealed and well-labelled.
When buying seeds, farmers should take note of the following;
Establish the seed variety that performs best in your area. You can get this information from the Ministry of Agriculture, NAADS, NARO or your area extension worker.
Carefully study the information on the label to confirm whether the seeds you are buying will meet your needs. This information can further be cross-checked with experts like extension workers.
Check the packaging closely. Certified seeds should ideally have a label indicating that they were inspected, tested and cleared by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Looking around the seed dealers shop to establish whether the seeds are properly stored. The seeds are supposed to be protected from rain and excessive heat. Check the package for signs of damage and insect infestation.
Check for the date when the seed was processed. Do not buy seed that is more than one year old or has passed the expiry date.
Always keep the empty seed package and receipt so that you can complain in case there is a problem.
Buy early so you can establish the seeds viability, by planting a small area, before you plant the entire field.
In order to realise the full potential of certified seeds, proper management is very important. This includes proper seed storage and handling, proper seedbed preparation, timely planting, proper spacing, weed control, fertiliser application, soil fertility management and control of diseases and pests.

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