Four illegal fertiliser blending plants operating in Kano State have been sealed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The plants are alleged to be operating without registration and producing adulterated fertiliser contrary to the set rules.
The Ministry has also confiscated a truckload of adulterated fertiliser.
The Ministry’s task force also discovered that aside from blending without due authorisation, they were also mixing substandard components to produce adulterated fertiliser which they sell to farmers in the state.
Oke Sunday, the Director of Control Officer of the Farm Inputs Support Department of the Ministry, sealed 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.
He said the inspection was necessary to rid Nigerian markets of adulterated fertiliser and ensure that no firm produces fertiliser without the government’s approval to ensure a bumper harvest for farmers.
Sunday explained, “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.”
He said it is a market operation, saying that they are not interested in arresting anybody but their interest is to make people comply with the provisions of the act by providing the right fertiliser to the farmers.
According to him, Fertiliser is a very critical input in farm production and the federal government would not tolerate any act sabotaging efforts to ensure food security is realised and sustained in the country.
He explained that they have sealed the defaulting shops and warned them not to tamper with the evidence.
He added that they have also found a huge cache of fertiliser blending raw materials, which are not supposed to be sold in the market, stressing that the defaulting marketers, arrested in possession of illegal blending raw materials would upon completion of investigation face the law.
He stated that one of the marketers caught with fertiliser blending raw materials at ’Yan-Kura market, Khalid Muhammad, confessed to selling it to individual retailers, insisting he was not aware of the implication of selling them in the market.
Gideon Negedu, the Secretary of the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), explained that the move is the right step to eradicate the Nigerian agro-market of substandard and adulterated fertilizers and ensure farmers get the right fertiliser in their farmlands.
He added that the raw materials for fertilizer blending heavily discounted by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to support authorised producers and benefit Nigerian farmers should not be diverted by unpatriotic elements.