Agric Ministry Drafts Fertilizer Bill
The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has resolved to develop a regulatory framework for quality checks and enforcement to ensure that farmers access quality fertilizers.
The Permanent Secretary, FMARD, Arc. Sonny Echono, represented by the Director, Farm Input Support Service Department of the Ministry, Mr. Akinbolawa Osho, disclosed this on Tuesday, 15th September, 2015 at the launch of a soil project on the Establishment and Implementation of fertilizer Quality Control System in Nigeria, fully supported by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) at the Ministry’s Headquarter in Abuja.
Arc. Echono stated that the legal and regulatory framework for fertilizer quality control would enable federal government inspectors to undertake periodic quality control at fertilizer production plants, ports of discharge and market outlets. He said that fertilizer samples would be drawn by inspection officials for laboratory analysis.
The Permanent Secretary said government has identified some violations in the subsector which include plant nutrient deficiencies, misbranding, adulteration, short weight of bags, bagging quality, operating without certificate of registration or with expired certificate of registration. He however condemned the activities of some unscrupulous players who have been ripping off farmers the benefit accruable from their investment in fertilizer.
Arc. Echono stated that a Draft Fertiliser Bill the ministry sent to the National Assembly has passed the first reading and would ensure it’s passed into law soonest. He maintained Present Administration’s drive in the Agricultural Sector of the economy which is geared towards employment generation, food security and poverty reduction.
He however appreciated the support of AGRA towards the development of a regulatory framework for the establishment and implementation of fertilizer quality control system in Nigeria.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Deputy Director, quality Control, FMARD, who is also the project Manager, Mrs. Chinyere Akudinobi, stated that the project was aimed at developing and implementing a functional fertilizer regulatory system in the country which she said would address the problems of fertilizer quality in Nigeria.
In the goodwill message of AGRA, delivered by Mary Yaodze, Technical Assistant to the soil health program, she expressed the confidence the organisation reposed in the ministry and pledged their continued collaboration, which she said would improve production, quality of fertilizer and its control.
The launch of the project had in attendance representatives of Development Partners from ECOWAS Commission, International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), USAID (Nigeria), and the clerks of both the Senate and House Committees on agriculture.
Tony Ohaeri – Director (Information)
16th September, 2015