How to Identify Misleading or Counterfeit Agricultural Products

How to Identify Misleading and Counterfeit Agricultural Products
How farmers can Identify Misleading and Counterfeit Agricultural Products

Counterfeit’ or ‘Misleading’ agricultural products can have disastrous outcomes for farmers. It may contain harmful substances like contaminants that pose significant risks to consumers as well. 

Moreover, there are significant economic consequences at stake. Producers and farmers invest substantial resources in ensuring the authenticity and quality of their products. 

However, when the markets get filled with counterfeit agricultural goods, they undercut prices and crumble profits. Hence, it leads to financial losses that have the potential to destabilize the entire agricultural sector.

Therefore, to protect your crops and investments, you can follow these essential ways to spot and avoid fake or substandard crop care and seed products.

1) Verify the Source

Purchase products only from reputable suppliers, authorized dealers, or trusted retailers as they invest in Research and Development (R&D) to improve their products and adopt innovative practices which ensures that their goods are up-to-date with the latest advancements.

Here are some indicators of a trusted brand or a retailer:

  • Brands with quality products are known to the community as they are using their  products for many cropping seasons/cycle.
  • Websites and Social Media Identity: Search on the internet about the brand and they will always have a website containing their profile, information about the products they sell and a active contact detail.
  • Trusted brands always  provide a Toll Free or a active phone number or an email. Call over the  phone provided in the packaging and cross-check if they are genuine. Ask for as much information as possible in case of any suspicion. 
  • Products of reputable brands are certified. Cross-Check if the products you have are any certification.
  • Products sold by reputable brands comes with a Guarantee/warranty Policy.
  • Genuine Retailer will always provide you a purchase bill.


2) Check Packaging

Proper packaging and labeling acts as a primary means of authenticating a product’s legitimacy and origin. Labels often include information regarding the safety precautions, quality standards, and usage instructions. So, by inspecting these labels, you can easily verify if the product is counterfeit or actual.


[Package sample is for demonstration purpose only. More information can be found here]
[Package sample is for demonstration purpose only. More information can be found here]

Educate Yourself

You must attend workshops, webinars, and training sessions on product authentication. The awareness you perceive on these platforms helps you spot counterfeits and further make cost-effective and value-driven purchasing decisions.

Attend training sessions that are conducted by the trusted institutes and brands in your area. Some of the training resources are listed here:

  1. ICAR Training Listing
  2. KVK Training Listing and Schedules
  3. Horticulture Training Events
  4. Short Term, Entrepreneurship & Specialized Training Courses from Central Avian Research Institute

Report Suspicious Products:

If you suspect an agricultural product is counterfeit, report it to the respective authorities or agricultural agencies as they have the potential to remove harmful products from the market and further take actions on any fraudulent or unethical practices. In case you come across any suspicious agricultural product, you can:

  1. Call on the Kisan Call Center (KCC) Toll-free number: 1800-180-1551 and ask questions directly to the responder.
  2. For suspicious and fake seeds, you can get the seeds examined through the SATHI Portal
  3. Contact your local Pesticide Inspector if available for pesticides and fertilizers.
  4. Contact Local Police and Consumer Courts

Maintain Records

  • Keeping a record of every valuable purchase enables you to keep a clear track of all the transactions made. 
  • So in case of any issues, such as receiving counterfeit products, having an appropriate document helps trace the source and hold the responsible individuals accountable. 

There are many more ways you can spot and avoid misleading agricultural products as they can further help in preserving market integrity, safeguarding consumer health, and promote environmental sustainability. 

Our mission is to educate farmers and create awareness regarding the misinformation in the agricultural arena. We believe that informed farmers are the first line of defense against dishonest crop care and seed brands.

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