Some stakeholders in the agricultural sector have commended the Senate for passing the National Fertiliser Quality (Control) Bill, 2019 at its sitting on Wednesday in Abuja.
However, the Soil Science Bill was dropped by the Senate.
The stakeholders described the passage as “historic’’ while speaking to the media in Abuja.
According to them, the passage has become historic and imperative because it will allow farmers to have free access to undiluted fertilisers and distribution to farmers.
They said that fertiliser had become a big challenge because of its importance as a crucial input in crop production, crop productivity and food security of the country.
Alhaji Kabiru Ibrahim, the President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) said that the bill would help to facilitate the regulation of fertiliser, standardise the manufacture, distribution, quality control and other aspects till “it gets to the end users’’.
“It is unfortunate that the other essential bill “Soil Science Bill” was dropped, AFAN has always supported the bill at every public hearing because of the importance of the bill to agricultural revolution.
“The bill must also be reviewed because of its importance to sustainable agriculture and boost scientific investigation and soil analysis across the country,” he said.
Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, the President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) also commended the National Assembly for passing the bill and urged the president to assent the bill for maximum operation.
He said that when the bill became operative, it would to a large extent regulate the sector and assign appropriate sanctions to those who violate the regulations on production, importation, distribution and use of fertiliser and create conducive environment for investment.
Mallam Adamu Abdullahi, a rice farmer in Bwari, FCT, said that in the past, it had been very difficult for farmers to have access to fertiliser, in spite of all the struggles, they either got adulterated or small quantity, which was not affordable to the end users.
“Doing this on time will be a ground breaking event and the liberation of the farmers from the hands of the shylocks and through this, there will be options and various avenues to purchase fertiliser of my choice,” he said.
Mallam Bature Adamu, a farmer in Gwagwalada commended the move by the lawmakers for passing the bill after it had lingered for a long time.
He said that the easy access to fertiliser by the farmers would lead to increase yield, the farmers would have surplus in productivity and be able to sell to take care of their families.
The bill that was initiated in 2005 was sponsored by Sen. Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nassarawa) to find a lasting solution to the hardship being faced by the Nigerian farmers in a bid to have easy access to fertiliser.