By Ibrahim Wuyo
The Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), has said that they have raised about one hundred and four billion Naira (N140bn) cash and guarantee that would enable Blenders to procure raw materials for fertilizer production for the 2021 farming season.
This was contained in a statement issued to Journalists by FEPSAN through it’s executive secretary ,Mr. Gideon Negedu.
Mr. Negedu said that the association has been having different challenges for which one critical one was the adulteration of fertilizer by some corrupt blenders.
According to him, adulteration is the biggest problem of the fertilizer industry because poor quality fertilizer shortchanges farmers and reduces crop yield which will eventually affect food security and livelihoods in the country .
“This implies that when you ask farmers to invest in fertilizer for his farm, you are asking them to put in their trust in your product for better yield, however, that is not always the case because low quality fertilizer have flooded the market as well as bags of fertilizers below the expected weights.”
“People buy these fertilizers and expect that the mineral contents of say NPK 15:15:15 is in the right ratio, proportion, and formulations, however, they don’t get what they have paid for because of adulteration.”
The FEPSAN executive Secretary further advised the citizens to patronize only FEPSAN accredited Blenders to guarantee the quality of the fertilizer purchased.
“FEPSAN is proud to work with the government in coming out with what we call Fertilizer Quality Control Act which will help to sanitize the industry and ensure that farmers have access to quality fertilizer.”
“That law will help to make sure that there is a teeth to bite for fakers and people who adulterate fertilizer, so that when they are caught, they will face the law.”
They also called on the government to provide security for farmers to be able to go on farming. “Because if we produce anything and the farmers are not there to pick it means nothing.”
“AGRA is currently supporting the Fertilizer consortium which includes the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR, Zaria), Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), and the National Program for Food Security (NPFS) towards the development of crop and site specific blends of fertilizer. The consortium intends to recommend 2 best blends for rice, maize and soybean in Kaduna and Niger State.”
“The final phase of the fertilizer blend trials will be conducted in 2021 season to validate the already identified blends of fertilizer for rice, maize and soybeans in Kaduna and Niger State,” they said.