Police have confiscated more than 2,5 tonnes of fake maize seed worth approximately $4 000 from a hardware shop in Harare’s Mbare suburb.
The seed, packaged under the brand of a reputed seed house, was being sold to unsuspecting farmers when the police pounced on Wednesday.
Three people were arrested in connection with the fake seed, which had been painted green, to dupe farmers.
About half a tonne of maize seed from other seed houses was also recovered, but it was not immediately clear whether the seed was also fake.
Criminal Investigation Department spokesperson Augustine Zimbili said detectives from the Law and Order section gleaned information that fake seed was on sale at a hardware in Matapi and teamed up with police details from the licence inspectorate.
“The raid resulted in the arrest of three people, one of whom had 44 fake, 25kg bags of Seedco SC513 maize seed and two, 10kg bags of the same maize seed,” Zimbili said.
“The other suspect had 31 fake 25kg bags of the same maize seed and the third suspect had 24, 25kg bags of fake seed.”
He said the trio had asked for permission to use the hardware shop to sell the seed and in return the warehouse owner would get a commission from the sales.
Zimbili called on seed houses to carry out awareness programmes to conscientise the public on features of genuine seed or alternatively inform them where they can buy it.