AAK AGAINST COUNTERFEIT PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS IN KENYA
You all may know that feeling you get deep inside you, when you discover the product you have purchased is an imitation of the one you really wanted. Some people will quickly resign to their fate and end up being duped by the same merchants owing to the harsh economic times which make whoever has the best price king.
In the farming world, things are no different and counterfeiters are busy laying traps for farmers. Pest Control Product (PCP) counterfeiters flourish by taking advantage of situations such as; scarcity of popular products during peak demand periods, poor procurement procedures in cooperatives and out grower companies, a thriving informal vending/hawking culture in most market centres and the proliferation of unregistered pest control products deep in the rural areas. All these are prime targets for making a quick sale and leaving the customers none the wiser. Some merchants unfortunately realize the blunder they made when it is too late. Their biggest weapon however is the heavy price discounts that are offered on cash sales. Interestingly a case sale receipt which should be demanded for every cash transaction is never given or if presented, is also counterfeit (non-functional telephone numbers, false addresses and fake company names).
To counter this mess the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) has been spearheading the fight against counterfeit PCP’s. In partnership with the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), various County Governments, the Anti-Counterfeiting Agency (ACA) of Kenya and individual member companies, AAK has carried out several activities aimed at curbing the vice – Farmer awareness campaign through radio jingles and the popular shamba shape up programmes was put in place as a stop gap measure. A series of agrodealer and farmers trainings have been held across the country.
For the medium and long term, AAK put in place an accreditation scheme which shall tighten the Pest Control Products (PCPs) supply chain and make it harder for counterfeiters to sell. The scheme shall be backed by amendment of regulations which shall ensure that PCP’s are only sold by competent people.
AAK’s accreditation scheme has three tiers that capture the most essential components of the pesticide supply chain. The first tier targets the staff of AAK member companies in order to ensure that they are recognizable to their customers.
The staff undergo an accreditation course which defines the code of conduct that they are expected to adhere to in the course of their duties. They are then issued with biodata accreditation cards which must be produced on demand as they seal business transactions. The 2nd tier of accreditation targets the agrodealers who are the main outlet for genuine PCP’s. The agrodealers are also signed onto the code of conduct on pesticide management from which they are issued with accreditation certificates and window stickers to identify them as accredited agrodealers. The accreditation scheme aims to foster self-regulation among the association members and adherence to the code of conduct.
The third tier of accreditation targets end users of pesticides and these are mostly farmers. Other counterfeited products are those used in public health and construction. End users are generally encouraged to follow simple checks when purchasing pesticides so as to seal the loopholes used by counterfeits. The anticounterfeit message is also embedded in all trainings offered to extension staff and during farmer field days and exhibitions. AAK trained professional Spray Service Provider also play a key role in farmer education and provision of quality products.
AAK/CLK thanks its partners for the far we have come as we aim to ensure that the farmers shall no longer be denied their potential earnings by unscrupulous pesticide dealers.