The Federal Government on Wednesday launched the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019 during a public presentation in Abuja.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono, during the presentation said the legal document would serve to “safeguard and protect the interest of the entire fertiliser value chain players”.
These players include manufactures, producers, blenders, importers, distributor and the end-user farmers in Nigeria.
Nanono explained that the document would help to reposition Nigeria’s economy from oil and gas to agribusiness.
The minister further explained that it would provide an enabling environment for fertiliser enterprises to grow, protect investments in the sector and also help farmers “get value for every kobo spent on buying fertilisers for their farms”.
“The Act, therefore, seeks to ensure that maximum benefits are derived from each kilogram of fertiliser bought and used by the farmers in terms of nutrient composition and levels,” he said.
Nanono praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his quick assent to the Act, adding that it showed the President’s attached importance and commitment to the sector.
The minister also praised the efforts of various stakeholders including the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science, International Fertiliser Development Centre and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, for their contributions to the Act.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Abdulkadir Mua’zu said that the Act would enable the ministry’s Fertilizer Inspectors of Farm Inputs Support services Department (FISSD) to undertake periodic quality control and assessment to fertilizer production plants, ports of discharge and market outlets to ensure compliance.
“This [Act] is important because the Federal Government has identified some violations in the sub-sector which includes plant nutrient deficiencies, adulteration, misbranding, underweight bagging, bagging quality, operating without a certificate of registration and sometimes with an expired certificate of registration,” Mua’zu added.
On his part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said the Act would change the fate of Nigerian farmers who have suffered economic hardship due to the adulteration of fertiliser products over the years.
The Act, among others, provides regulatory power against the operations of fertiliser value chain players without valid permits or certificates of registration.