Uganda Registrations Service Bureau (URSB) together with the Anti Counterfeit Network (ACN) have asked dealers in agro inputs like seeds and chemicals to champion the fight against substandard and counterfeit products on the market.
These have learnt that these substandard products not only affect the country’s economy and people’s well-being, but also have a negative impact on Agricultural produce (exports) because they pose a risk of suspension of Ugandan food once they are found to contain harmful substances.
“You should stop covering up for people dealing in counterfeits because we know you know them but you don’t want to report them,” said Gilbert Agaba, the Director of Intellectual services at URSB.
He urged all dealers to embrace the system of registering their brands and trademarks with URSB so as to tap into benefits that come along.
“Everyone who puts up anything on the market must give it a name for easy identification by his potential customers. Many customers have tastes and preferences based on the name of the product, its area of origin and reputation with its geographical area of origin,” he added.
Fred Muwema, the Legal and Corporate Affairs officer at Anti counterfeit Network (ACN), applauded the dealers and some Agro chemical producers for expressing interest to learn more about counterfeits.
“It’s the duty of the dealers to kick out of counterfeits out of the market because in most cases the final consumers don’t know how to differentiate between the fake and genuine products. It’s not the role of URSB and ACN to fight counterfeits but a collective responsibility,” Muwema said.
“You have seen cases where our produce like maize, eggs, beef are affected and very soon we may fail to sell out our agricultural produce because people are so conscious on toxins,” he added.
Fred Muwema Anti Counter feit Network Legal and corporate Affairs addressing the press at Protea Hotel Kampala.
Unveiling findings of their recent study, Dr. Ronette Atukunda, a senior lecturer at Makerere University Business School (MUBs) revealed that they established that the most counterfeited Agriculture product are seeds at 5 out of 10 Percent followed by pesticides at 2 out of 10 thus creating a need for more awareness among the farmers.
“The problem of counterfeiting is big, it comes from the fact that farmers out there think that nothing can be done to eliminate counterfeit products from the market. You find a small farmer in Sironko losing 10 million shillings in a season which may push them out of the market,” Atukunda said.
He advised the Agricultural police to always express interest in cases of fake products wherever they are brought
The dealers were warned against using fake products which tend to be cheap with a view of saving money “because you will end up paying heavily with your life or through costly medical bills.”
It was also established that most of the dealers of the counterfeit products don’t have a clear address for their businesses since they operate like hawkers.