The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) has intercepted and seized over 15 tons of fake maize seeds in Kiambu County.
The seeds are believed to have originated from Cherangany Sub-county where the public had reported that fake maize seeds were being processed at Motsiet Village.
In a press statement Friday afternoon KEPHIS, Managing Director, Prof. Theophilus Mutui said inspectors from the organization raided the house where the seeds were being processed, in the company of police and other relevant state agencies, and found three suspects packaging the same.
'The suspects were charged on Friday at Kitale law courts for contravening the Seeds and Plant Varieties Act, which provides standards for production, processing, and marketing of certified seeds,' he said.
He added that the law also sets stiff penalties for those who contravene it and this includes a fine of up to Sh1 million and a jail term of up to two years.
KEPHIS, Prof. Mutui said, will conduct nationwide surveillance to check whether any of this fake seed has been distributed.
'I also ask anyone with information concerning this case or any similar incident to report to any KEPHIS Office, the police, or the nearest County Department of Agriculture office. Any report will be treated with confidence and acted on immediately,' he reiterated.
The MD appreciated the support of the state agencies, the media, and the public in resolving the fake seed incident in Cherangany and advised the public to be always alert.
'Farmers are advised to confirm whether seed is genuine by checking the presence of the KEPHIS Label on the seed package,' he said explaining that said seed packages less than 5Kg have sticker labels which can be scratched and the hidden number sent to 1393 as a message for confirmation.
'Sending the message to 1393 is free of charge. In case the seed is not genuine one can call the number provided on the label to 0707891000 for assistance by KEPHIS staff,' he advised.
Source: Kenya News Agency