Nigeria’s food security quest is threatened by adulterated fertilizer products.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has made a vital move to safeguard and protect the affairs of the entire fertilizer value supply chain as it warns adulterators against the implemented aggressive law, who possibly risk 10 years imprisonment in line with the 2019 National Fertilizer Quality Control Act. Farmers have reportedly been experiencing economic hardships resulting from the adulteration and diversion of fertilizer products over the years. Nigeria’s quest for food security is also reportedly under threat as farmers continue to record failed crops due to the use of adulterated and fake fertilizer products.
Deputy director of Farm Inputs Support Services Department at the ministry, Ishaku Ardo Buba, stated this at a capacity-building tagged Zonal Sensitization Workshop for Fertilizer Quality Inspectors and other Relevant Stakeholders on the Provision of the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019, and the Regulations 2020. Buba, who warned against the strict law being implemented, and called on fertilizer merchants, producers and distributors to obtain certification to protect their business operations in the country.
Certification is for the input producers, particularly fertilizer.
While sensitization is being carried out, Buba said that anyone without government certification should obstain from operating within the business in Nigeria. Also, the ministry, in collaboration with security agencies, is raising areas to root out defaulters who are operating under fake credentials or without certification. The certificate of registration is for the input producers, particularly fertilizer, and the sales permit is for the distributors, so once you get it, it is then verified by the inspector who is able to confirm if it is genuine using the barcode on it,” he noted.
Capacity-building, which is focused on promoting organic fertilizer preparation and use at the local level using eco-friendly agricultural technologies, was also geared toward enforcing the provision of the Act to ensure that anybody within the system produces what is required and is based on a set standard. Additional regulations have also been implemented covering the West African region of which Nigeria is a member, meaning that any product produced in Nigeria can be freely sold in West African countries.
Farmers are being educated to use local resources in their region.
Accordingly, Buba said that the warning followed a nationwide capacity development exercise for inspectors of fertilizer quality control that lasted for one day and included representatives from all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Farmers are being educated on how to use local resources in their region, such as plant waste and how to convert them into nutrients and how to use leaves and other residues to manufacture fertilizers locally, according to him. This is a significant development in the industry and an innovative step forward.
Concerning the current floods, which have impacted many farmers, he said that those affected would be identified by the Farm Input Help Services department and provided with necessary support from the ministry after an evaluation of the flood by the Presidential Committee. To compensate for their losses, the impacted farmers will be registered in accordance with the scale of their operations and given plant nutrients for the dry season. Working with other Ministry divisions, this action also serves to enhance irrigation-dependent dry-season agriculture.
The Act is implemented to protect fertilizer value chain stakeholders.
With the new rule in effect, adulterators are being sternly advised to stop engaging in any illicit activity, as stated by the ministry. It is worth noting that the Act is implemented to defend and protect the interests of all Fertilizer value supply chain stakeholders in Nigeria, including manufacturers, producers, blenders, importers, distributors, and end-user farmers. This will ensure that farmers get the most out of their fertilizer budgets, which will preserve investment in the agricultural industry, and help fertilizer businesses flourish.
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