Despite the government's efforts to clean up the sector and ensure the traceability and quality of the seeds produced and marketed, poor quality seed is still on the market. "A practice that sabotages agricultural development efforts," denounced the Minister of Agriculture, Noël Koutera BATAKA.
"Producers and distributors of all across will now be punished according to the provisions of the Seeds Act," he warned, adding that "unannounced checks will be made to track down violators".
The way forward now is for the industry operators to approach the Seed Management Directorate (DSP) to obtain the necessary approvals and grain producers are advised to contact authorized operators for advice obtaining certified seeds and improved varieties.
The farmer must make his police
The government's reform of the seed sector is objet to debate and the first stakeholders consider that the measure was timely.
"When a producer goes to a seed distribution point, he must ask for the producer's certificate and make sure that there is this certificate in the package," said Balintiya Valentin Konsana, president of the National Network of Certified Seed Producers of Togo (RNPS C-TG), interviewed on Sunday by agridigitale.
"This year, we have arranged for the seeds in the network to be packaged in identical bags with the network seal and references (region, contacts). Inside, there are labels containing the seeds information that is on the certificate of analysis issued by DSP," explains the president of the National Network of Certified Seed Producers of Togo.
He regretted that "those who produced their seeds in compliance with the law promulgated in 2009 are often found with their products because they cannot sell due of this unfair competition".
Avoid fraud and false advertising
Christopher DEGBOEVI, a specialist in Agronomic Engineering and Plant Protection explains that "whatever the nature of the seed, it should not be put on sale because it has properties to deceive the buyer whereas it has not been certified and the certified seed has been obtained with costs.
"It is just not allowed to market seeds that have not been certified to prevent people from trying to make money off the farmer's by surfing the awareness that is being made about the importance. There is nothing to prevent people exchanging grain for all purposes, but it cannot be accepted that some are seeking to market products at prices equivalent to those of certified products without adding value. This is called fraud," retailed him.
For him, "the purpose is to encourage and recognize the merits and efforts that some do".
"Those who want to promote peasant seeds should be part of the regulation and the seed administration would be happy to support them because Togo is part of the biodiversity protection convention. This measure on seeds can change a lot if the application is respected," he added.
Yield, achilles tendon of the government
The Minister of Agriculture, Noël Koutera BATAKA recommends that seed companies abandon the fixation on institutional purchases and develop commercial strategies to sell their products.
"The government will continue his efforts in terms of sanitation, monitoring, control and accompaniment of actors so that producers have access to the best technologies at affordable costs to significantly improve their yields," said the Minister.
"The yields are the achilles tendon of our competitiveness", he concludes inviting each actor to play his score in the field.