Wednesday, 10 February 2016

How can Counterfeiting in Agriculture be solved?

There are several solutions to the problem, which, when used in tandem to one another, can create a strong barrier against the threat of fake pesticides.
§  Improve detection strategies (anti counterfeiting solutions like Sproxil)
§  Increase awareness and education of the problem and available solutions
§  Promote vigilance with farmers and end consumers
§  Improved enforcement for compliance by the government
§  Take a proactive approach in detection and combating the issue by law enforcement
§  Improved purchase processes by farmers (authorized dealer purchases only)


While individual stakeholders can make a significant impact on protecting their own farmers and end-consumers, collaboration and government involvement are key requirements for combating fakes.
We need
§  Collaboration of all stakeholders
§  Greater government involvement

Counterfeit pesticides threaten companies around the world, from small farms to multi-national businesses.
Articles are owned by Sproxil Nigeria Limited and it cannot be used without their consent..

Impact of Counterfeit Pesticides

Did you know?
“In China and India, illegal pesticides are believed to comprise about 30 percent and 20 percent of the pesticide markets in these countries, respectively.” (Source: University of Florida IFAS Extension)

China and India are not the only countries dealing with the problem of counterfeit pesticides; it is a global problem with adverse effects on all stakeholders. Counterfeit pesticides affect all aspects of the economy from the market to the environment to the end consumers. Before we discuss solutions, let’s talk about the impact of counterfeit pesticides.

The Impact of Counterfeit Pesticides


§  Low detectability
§  Financial impact
§  Reputation and brand erosion

Counterfeit pesticides are very hard to detect due to the sophisticated packaging and labeling that counterfeiters use to disguise their products. Some fake products even bear anti-counterfeiting labels and technologies that make it more difficult to detect and separate the genuine products from its substandard counterparts. When farmers buy fake pesticides, genuine businesses are losing market share to counterfeiters. Furthermore, fake versions of branded products hurt the reputation and brand name of genuine companies and put them at risk for unnecessary lawsuits.


§  Financial impact
§  Poor efficacy
§  Health impact

When pesticides do not work as intended, farmers waste money on products that poison their crops or leave them susceptible to harmful pests. No crops mean a significant impact on their livelihood, further impacting their financial health. Even worse, if the fake pesticides contain dangerous and toxic chemicals, the farmers could be putting their health and wellbeing at significant risk.


§  Health impact

Farmers are not the only ones who can be impacted by toxic chemicals used in fake pesticides. If crops with fake pesticides make it to market, end consumers could be at risk of ingesting dangerous chemicals, leading to short term and/or long-term health effects.


§  Toxic ingredients
§  Water contamination

Ingredients that are not approved for use in pesticides can potentially damage the environment. Fake pesticide may not decompose easily, hurting the soil, water, and the overall ecosystem. This can lead to longer-term issues with future crops that are planted in that soil.


§  Financial impact
§  Job creation
§  Innovation and efficiency impact

The government is not immune to the impacts of counterfeit pesticides. The cost spent to fund enforcement and compliance of using approved pesticides can be great, depending on the significant of agribusiness in the region. If the industry is compromised, it does not grow, leading to reduction in jobs, further negative impact on the economy, and more pressure on government. If the threat of counterfeits were taken out of the picture, government could spend more resources on productive ways to promote industry innovation and efficiency.

Articles are owned by Sproxil Nigeria Limited and it cannot be used without their consent

Effect of Counterfeiting on Agriculture

John is a 35-year-old man that lives in Ogun State. He is married with two children. John is a farmer and has a small plot of land with hopes to acquire more. He began farming five years ago and really enjoys his profession. Tomatoes are his specialty but he also harvests other foodstuffs. In this short time, he has made strong connections with the women at the market that buy from him and the suppliers of crop protection products.

Last year, John realized that the pesticides he had purchased were not effective in preventing his crops from being destroyed. It seemed the more he applied the pesticides; the more his crops were destroyed. His yield was not sufficient to take to market. By the time he racked up enough to take to the market, the strong relationships he had established with the market women was strained because of inconsistencies in his supply. This left him a very frustrated farmer because his income was affected; his family was suffering as a result of this.

John traced the problem down to the quality of the crop protection products he was using and realized they were counterfeited products.

John’s story is one of many small-scale farmers. They take the risk to start running their farm and build relationships with suppliers and the traders. But counterfeiters make it difficult by intercepting the supply chain of crop protection products. They replace good quality products with their fake versions, which could be harmful short term and even have long-term health effects for the end consumers. 

Articles are owned by Sproxil Nigeria Limited and it cannot be used without their consent