By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As the 2020 farming season set to commence amid the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, the Fertilizer Producers Association of Nigeria, FEPSAN, Thursday, disclosed of partnering farmer groups to tackle the challenge of fertilizer adulteration.
The Executive Secretary, FEPSAN, Gideon Negedu, made this known while speaking in a chat with Vanguard on efforts of the association to curb the unwholesome practices in the industry by some unscrupulous elements.
Negedu said the Fertiliser bill now passed into law has all it takes to stem the tide of adulteration of the commodity, and that the Farm Input Support Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, is to prosecute criminals found guilty under the Act.
He also said there two new toll numbers the public, especially farmers and other stakeholders in the sector can call as far as fertilizer issues are concerned, which include 08175077773 and 08175777724.
He said: “Where we want to go now is to expand our reach or discussion with farm groups so that they will be on the lookout for people who are involved in this adulteration and they can immediately report it.”
He further stated that the association has done a lot of work to curb fertilizer adulteration, “That is one key area we have done a lot of work. We have worked on Fertiliser Bill into law. FESAN as an association under the leadership of Mr. Thomas has worked seriously to push that Bill into law.
“Now is the time for implementation. There is only so much we can do. That Bill has been passed into law. Every FEPSAN member knows not to adulterate fertilizer, and not only that, every FEPSAN member is encouraged to ensure that he monitors the quality of his products because there are penalties in that law if he adulterates fertilizer.
“We have worked on that and we are working on that to ensure that coupled with the Ministry of Agric that is the regulator, they are the ones implementing the law. We are working with them to ensure that there is proper adherence to quality.
“And FEPSAN also has its own monitoring team to work from time to time to check, but the idea is that once we can get these things we can now get the Ministry of Agric or Farm Input Support Department that implements this law to go in immediately and prosecute.”