The Fertilizers Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria has raised the alarm on the harmful consequences of using adulterated fertilizers in farming.
The Project Manager of the association, Mr Gideon Negedu, said that using sub-standard fertilisrs would harm agriculture and also have negative impact on farm lands.
Negedu said that a lack of laws to guide production and sale of fertilisers had resulted to exploitation of local farmers by unscrupulous producers and suppliers of sub-standard fertilizers.
“The problem our farmers have is that they are not protected. Anyone can set up a fertilizer plant or can sell anything to farmers in the name of fertilizers. There is at presently, no law that sanctions any company producing sub-standard fertilizers in the country,” he said.
He suggested a speedy enactment of the Fertilizer Quality Control Bill as the solution to the proliferation of adulterated products in the country.
“Enactment of the Fertilizer Quality Control Bill will properly regulate the quality of the product in Nigeria in a way that Nigerian farmers are guaranteed quality of products. The bill will put real teeth to the law enforcement agencies to bite erring fertilizer producing plants,” he explained.
He commended the efforts of the Federal Government in supporting the procurement of affordable and quality fertilizers for farmers, through the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) .
“In past administrations, farmers were restricted to two bags of fertilizers per planting season, which is ridiculously low. However, through the PFI, local farmers are now entitled to as many as eight bags at a discounted fee. The PFI with its 11 operational fertilizer plants provides opportunities for farmers to access more fertilizers,” Negedu said.
In February 2017, the presidency had, inaugurated the PFI in a bid to ensure the production of up to one million metric tonnes of blended Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium fertilizers for wet season farming.