As the rainy season approaches, Syngenta Seed Company has warned farmers in Masvingo against buying fake maize seeds as that will result in below-average yields and outright losses.
Speaking to TellZim News during the just-ended Masvingo Agricultural Show, Norman Chihumo of Syngenta sales support urged local farmers to buy seeds only from reputable shops.
“We know that every season, farmers are duped by fake seed dealers who sell fake maize seeds at low prices. We encourage farmers to buy seeds from reputable shops and seed outlets. We also have agronomists who move around many wards selling our branded maize seed.
“Most of these fake seeds are sold on the streets and by uncertified dealers and prices are usually low. So we urge farmers to be careful when buying seeds and to buy from established agro-dealers only,” said Chihumo.
He said Syngenta had seeds that were adaptive to local weather patterns characterised by intermittent droughts and unreliable rainfall.
“As Syngenta, we make drought-tolerant seed varieties that adapt to different weather conditions. We urge farmers to buy those seeds in order to produce better yields,” he said.
Chihumo said due to the current sharp rise in prices, farmers were being tempted to look for fake seeds as a more affordable alternative but he warned that such a move would not be a solution.
“Buying fake seeds will not help because it will result in losses. You better buy original seeds at a higher price and be guaranteed of good results,” said Chihumo.
In most shops a 10kg bag of maize seed is now selling at prices of between $250 and $354.