FMARD vows to deal with fake fertilizer marketers, launches quality control project
The Perm Sec, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Arc. Sonny Echono today said that the Ministry is working to ensure the passage of the drafted fertilizer bill into law.
Speaking at the launch of the “Establishment and Implementation of Fertilizer Quality Control System in Nigeria” which is supported by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) the Perm Sec, represented by the Director,Farm Inputs Support Service, Mr. Akingbola Osho explained, that it was necessary in order to deal with all activities which only have negative effects on farmers.
He also noted that, the action was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda for the sector as it is meant to generate employment, avoid food scarcity, and reduce poverty to the barest
Echono said that some greedy Nigerian business men have taken advantage of the importance of agriculture to the country by selling substandard or adulterated fertilizers at cheap rate to unsuspecting farmers.
In his words, “this very important attribute has attracted some unscrupulous players in the subsector who over time have been ripping off farmers the benefits accruable le to them from their investments in fertilizer.
“Prominent among the violations are outright adulteration, underweight of bags, bagging quality, misbranding and packaging of non-fertilizer products as fertilizers”, he added.
The Perm Sec further said that the Ministry was bent on engaging a regulatory system through which activities pointing towards quality control could be carried out.
Deputy Director, quality control and AGRA supported Project manager, Mrs. Akudinobi Chinyere in a short presentation said that the use of unwholesome fertilizers has contributed to increased land degradation and destruction of soil nutrients.
Speaking on the Ministry’s intention to tackle the menace of fake fertilizer supply, Akudinobi revealed that the AGRA support project was also initiated to help the ministry establish adequate fertilizer regulatory system to ensure that quality fertilizers are being sold in the country.
The Director finally explained that the project which will benefit staff of the Ministry, Research Institutes and Universities, is also meant to help in update of fertilizer inspections, analyzing of manuals, reporting of formats and regulations, capacity building of technical staff that will carry out implementation as well as regulations.
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