Government assures Quality Fertilizer for Crop Production
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that quality Fertilizers are used to boost crop production and food nutrition in the country and emphasized that Food Security remained one of the cardinal agenda of the present administration.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development , Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu ably represented by the Director, Farm Inputs Support Services (FISS) Department of the Ministry, Engr. Tunde Bello, made the disclosure during the Joint Meeting of Fertilizer Stakeholders and Security Operatives with the theme: Support for the Implementation of the National Fertilizer Quality Control (NFQC) Act 2019 and the Regulations held at Reiz Continental Hotel plot 779, Central district Abuja.
He said that the meeting was strategic as it would help the Ministry to build resilient partnership with the security Operatives to ensure the seamless enforcement of the provisions of the NFQC Act and reiterates the fact that security operatives have a major part to play in the implementation of the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act, 2019 which was enacted to protect the interest of farmers. He added that section 18 of the Act, specified some offences which include: Nutrient Deficiencies, Adulteration, Short weight, Diversion etc. The Act also identified stiff penalties in sections 19-22 where it stipulated penalties for different categories of offenders .
Dr Mu’azu noted that the essence of the meeting is to remind the relevant security agencies of their expected roles in the implementation of the Act which is mainly to support the Department in the successful enforcement of the Act.
He stated that the meeting would also afford the Ministry and the Fertilizer Operators amongst others such as; Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Organic Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (OFPSAN) and Nigeria Agric- Inputs Dealers Association (NAIDA) to further promote the required synergy in the operationalization of the Act.
Alh. Abdulrauf Lawal, Deputy National President Agric-Inputs Dealers Association (NAIDA), urged the Office of the National Adviser (ONSA) to review the ban on supply of Fertilizer to the four Frontline States of Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno which have been on temporary ban as a result of some unscrupulous elements conniving with the insurgents to use the product to manufacture explosives.
Also speaking, , Brig-Gen Kadir, representative of the Nigerian Military, said the agency was happy to be part of the meeting and informed that the Military has established a Department of Agriculture within the barracks and divisional stations to boost crop production and food sufficiency. He also advocated for an aggressive media campaign to sensitize the smallholder farmers on the operationalizationof the Fertilizer Act.
In his remarks, the Associate Program Officer of Alliance For Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Mr. Godswill Aguiyi, noted the need for capacity building for security operatives, especially those that would be deployed to the roads on how to identify substandard Fertilizers to avoid making wrong arrests. He also stressed the need for speedy implementation of the Act and the Regulations.
- Okeh Juliet (Mrs)
For: Director, Information.