The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has sealed four illegal fertiliser blending plants, operating without registration in Kano State and confiscated a truckload of adulterated fertiliser.
It was learnt that the ministry’s task force during inspections discovered that the plants, aside from blending without due authorisation, were also mixing substandard components to produce adulterated fertiliser and sell it to farmers in the state.
The sealed plants are Albarka Agor-Allied and Chemical Fertiliser and Nagarta Agro Fertiliser, both in Zara community of Kumbotso Local Government Area, Samu Alheri plant in Jido community of Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area and one other retail shop in Getso market of Gwarzo Local Government Area of the state.
According to the Director, Fertiliser Control Officer of the Farm Inputs Support Department of the Ministry, Oke Sunday, the inspection is necessary to rid Nigerian markets of adulterated fertiliser and ensure that no firm produces fertiliser without government’s approval.
He said, “There is a new law in town called the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act. There are a lot of things specified by the law, that for any individual to do business in the fertiliser sector, he must be registered with the Farm Inputs Support Department.
“This is a market operation, we are not interested in arresting anybody, our interest is to make people to comply with the provisions of this act.”
Sunday added, “Fertiliser is a very critical input in farm production and the federal government will not tolerate any act sabotaging efforts to ensure food security in the country.
“We have sealed the defaulting shops, and in the process, we told them their offenses and told them not to temper with the evidences until we come back again.
“We have also found huge cache of fertiliser blending raw materials, which are not supposed to be sold in the market.”
He said the defaulting marketers arrested in possession of illegal blending raw materials would upon completion of investigation face the law.
One of the marketers caught with fertiliser blending raw materials at ’Yan-Kura market, Khalid Muhammad, who confessed to selling it to individual retailers, however, said he was not aware of the implication of selling them in the market.
Also, the Secretary, Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Gideon Negedu, said the move is a right step to eradicate the Nigerian agro-market of sub standard and adulterated fertilizers.
“Raw materials for fertilizer blending heavily discounted by President Muhammadu Buhari administration to support authorised producers and benefit Nigerian farmers should not be diverted by unpatriotic elements,” he added.