By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has disclosed that it will begin to clamp down on illegal fertiliser producers/manufacturers, blenders, importers, and agro-dealers in the country.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made this known via a promotional video on the Ministry’s official Twitter handle on Tuesday.
The visual notified the general public that the National Fertilizer Quality Control (NFQC) Act 2019 is to make sure that every farmer has good and efficient fertilizer for their farms, to boost farming harvest and output.
It was also disclosed that no one can go into fertilizer business in Nigeria without registering with the Farm Inputs Support Services Department (FISSD), which is under the ministry.
Among other tasks, the department, established through Executive Council Conclusion No. EC6 (99)10, 1999), is charged with making available adequate quantities of high-quality fertilizers (inorganic and organic) to Nigerian farmers to increase agricultural production, ensure food and cash crop self-sufficiency and also increase farmer’s income.
The ministry then gave a sound warning that anyone caught producing or merchandising adulterated fertilizers will be jailed.
This regulation is to address the recurring issues of the effect of substandard fertilizers on farm produce, and the presence of adulterated fertilizers in the country, which affects the level of farm outputs and harvests in the country.
This move reaffirms the federal government’s commitment to implementing the National Fertilizer Quality Control (NFQC) Act 2019.
The ministry had noted that when it kickstarted the campaign last month, the fertilizer regulatory system was in place to safeguard the interest of the farmers, adding that when the regulation is implemented, it will protect farmers from using adulterated fertilizers that are nutrient deficient.
The NFQC Act 2019 was implemented to safeguard interests of fertilizer enterprises, businesses and agro-dealers, as it will create part of the enabling environment for private sector investment in the fertilizer industry, and protect the environment against potential dangers, that may result from the proliferation of adulterated fertilizers and the use of harmful substances in fertilizer.
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