In a bid to protect the agricultural sector from substandard and fake inputs, government through its development partners have conducted training of all agricultural inspectors and agricultural police officers in detecting harmful products which have flooded the market recently.
This training followed a study by “Feed the Future” which is a United States government global hunger and food security initiative aimed at establishing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of all stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
While facilitating at the training in Kampala, Richard Kawesa, the co-founder of Anti Counterfeit Network (ACN) Uganda said that through research, they have established eight drivers of counterfeiting culture in Uganda.
He said that from the research, they have developed also an acronym “DANCCANI” meant to make all stakeholders understand why fake products exist and consumed on the market.
“DANCCANI which stands for Differentiation difficulty, Affordability, Normalcy, Convince, Concealed danger,Aspiration, Negligence of intellectual property and Ineffective Cooperation between stakeholders have been the main drivers of fake products on the market,” Kawesa explained.
He told trainees that although there are eight drivers of counterfeiting, differentiation difficulty and ineffective cooperation between stakeholders have been the major drivers according to the just concluded research which needs to be tackled effectively.
“The baseline study of agricultural markets activity indicates that 82% of the people believe that effective collaboration among agro input dealers, Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS), Police, Ministry of Agriculture Animal and Fisheries and service providers would bolster the fight against counterfeits,” he said hence calling upon police and the ministry of agriculture to collaborate and save the sector.
Speaking at the same training , Solomon Seruwo, the chief executive of crop life Uganda pointed out that the anti counterfeit enforcement faces a number of challenges mainly the struggle for mandate among agencies.
He said that agencies which are meant to fight against fake products have found themselves in fighting for who is supposed to do what which has created gap for counterfeit dealers to get more organized in their illegal activities.
“What is happening is that people choose to fight for more mandate than achieve an objective. When another government agency does something similar to what others are doing, they engage in exchange which is dangerous,” Seruwo said.
In his remarks, Fred Muwema the director legal of ACN noted that training alone cannot reduce counterfeits in Uganda and hence implored all stakeholders including agricultural inspectors to take action through proper collaboration and ensure compliance with the law.
“Why are we not intercepting, verifying the seeds and inspecting plants and doing surveillance. Our crisis in Uganda is not because we don’t have proper job descriptions but our crisis is execution, the execution policy is zero,” he said.
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