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Counties to play central role in war against counterfeits

BUSINESS
By Osinde Obare | February 22nd 2016
Some of the counterfeit products at the Anti Counterfeit Agency Godown

The Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) has said it will work with county governments to stamp out the trade in fraudulently imitated products.

ACA’s acting Deputy Director for Research and Awareness, Agnes Karingu, said the agency is incorporating the devolved units owing to their role in regulating trading activities.

She said studies had shown that Trans Nzoia County, for instance, which is an agricultural zone, is grappling with a proliferation of counterfeit agricultural products, which have affected farmers’ yields.

“Top on the list are counterfeit maize seeds from the Kenya Seed Company. These are sold by unscrupulous traders to unsuspecting farmers, which affects their productivity and, in turn, increases poverty levels,” Ms Karingu said.

The agency also asked police officers to pay the same attention to combating counterfeiting as they do other crimes.

Karingu said since few counterfeiters have been prosecuted, the vice continues to attract more and more fraudsters.

“We want our police officers to widen their focus in bringing to book the perpetrators of counterfeiting in the country. The focus on combating the crime is currently low,” said Karingu.

Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Seif Matata added that the region’s county assembly should come up with legislation that will help the executive work with the ACA to effectively deal with counterfeiting.

“The county assembly must formulate prohibitive laws to enable county governments commit more resources to the war against this vice.”

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