Being one of Kenya’s largest economic driving force, the agricultural sector experiences just as many fake products on the market. Traditionally, one would imagine the unpredictable weather conditions coupled with changing crop diseases as the main challenges Kenyan farmers are exposed to; however, this is no longer the case as some ill minded individuals have taken initiatives to profit from less informed Farmers by supplying them with substandard seeds. These products could have fake certificates of authenticity which the average Kenyan farmer isn’t in a position to verify, this potentially leads to low yields and losses by farmers.
Building on these challenges, the Kenya Seed Company – a Kenyan government owned parastatal has devised a way to aid farmers even in remote areas check for the authenticity of seeds using their mobile phones. According to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, use of substandard farm inputs often lead to loss of millions of dollars annually by farmers. On the other hand, good quality farm inputs such as seeds including those bred specifically to withstand extreme climate conditions lead to better yields.
But just how can the farmer detect counterfeit seeds via a mobile phone? Well, the Kenya Seed Company now places stickers with hidden codes inside bags of seeds. Farmers can then scratch and sent this code via a text message to validate the authenticity of the whole bag.
Here is How to Detect Counterfeit Seeds Using your Mobile Phone;
- On your phone, compose a new text message and input the code you scratched from the bags tag
- Sent the code to (20111)
- You’ll receive instant confirmation text as to whether the seed is authentic or fake.
How to know the best Seed variety to plant on your farm Using your Mobile Phone;
- On your phone, compose a new text message with the word “VARIETY” and your “DIVISION”
- Sent to (20336)
So far, farmers who found out they had purchased unauthentic seeds, were able to return the seeds after calling the Kenya Seed Company.