The Uganda National farmer’s federation in partnership with Anti counterfeit Network Africa have launched a campaign to awaken consumers, farmers and decision makers on combating counterfeits and food fraud in the agriculture sector.
Addressing the media, the director legal and corporate affairs, Anti counterfeit Network Africa Fred Muwema said that the campaign among others will empower farmers to distinguish between genuine and fake farm inputs, create awaken on counterfeit laws and encourage local authorities to come up with stringent bye laws on counterfeit which will see people being prosecuted for selling fake farm inputs.
The chief executive officer of Uganda national farmers federation, Kenneth katungisa says that if more farmers get the information of the fake inputs then more people trading in counterfeit will be prosecuted.
Experts believe that the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the economy has resulted to scarcity of legitimate products leading to increase in proliferation of fake products on the market, as companies cut costs for survival and competitiveness.
The new trend of selling goods via various social media platforms has exacerbated the situation as consumers try saving cost by choosing low-cost offers.
With an estimated budget of over Shs 41 trillion and a 54% of either counterfeit or substandard products in the market, it is estimated that Uganda could be losing up to Shs 6 trillion to counterfeits and substandard products every year.
The campaign comes at a time when the farmers launched their manifesto 2021-2026 with a call on those who are vying for high offices to consider the issue of counterfeit farm inputs.