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Agro Chemicals: Ministry Sensitizes Stakeholders on Improved Agricultural Inputs for Food Security

By Mohammed Mohammed

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has conducted a market sensitization workshop on Agrochemicals to improve farmers’ accessibility to high quality inputs.

The sensitization covers fertilizer and plant pesticides aimed at enhancing the use in an efficient and cost-effective manner these inputs to increase agricultural production, food security and improve the quality of life of the Smallholders Farmers.

The Workshop took place at the Sabo Gari Market, Kano, Kano State, recently.

Speaking during the occasion, the Director, Farm Inputs Support Services Department, Mr. Mohammed Kwaido, represented by the Deputy Director, Mr. Yahaya Usman, stated the commitment of the ministry towards ensuring the availability of adequate high-quality fertilizers and Agro inputs to Nigerian farmers, increase agricultural production, food and cash crop self-sufficiency as well as increase farmer’s income.

Kwaido, pointed out that ‘’The Farm Inputs Support Services Department was created with the vision for timely provision of good quality agricultural inputs to farmers in the most cost-effective manner’’

He revealed that “the Department through collaboration with several international NGOs, donor agencies and stakeholders like Crop life and Agro Input Dealers Association, initiated and drafted the Nigeria Pesticide Bill for harmonization into a single Act 2022 with the already existing Fertilizer Act-2019.”

He added that the new draft to harmonized Bill which was set to regulate the manufacture, importation, distribution, sales and quality of Fertilizers and Plant pesticides as well as other agricultural inputs in Nigeria was undergoing legislature processes at the National Assembly.

Kwaido, also revealed that ”In a similar effort, the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) had developed and adopted the ECOWAS REGULATION C/REG.13/12/12 Relating to Fertilizer/Plant pesticide Quality Control in the region.

He said the regulation was based on a common agricultural policy which facilitated the creation of an enabling legal environment for the development of a regional inputs market in all the ECOWAS Member States and its implementation is domiciled in the Ministries of Agriculture as Nigeria is one of its Major players in the Fertilizer sub sector.

The Director therefore urged participants to be careful and watch out for fake fertilizers and agrochemical which are harmful to plants and endanger human lives.

Earlier in his remarks, the Kano State Coordinator, Alh. Abba Danmani, stated that the objective of the sensitization Workshop was to update marketers, dealers and farmers with the requisite knowledge and procedures when intending to venture into fertilizer or Agro Chemical business in Nigeria.

He revealed that the Federal Government had commenced registration of all agrochemical & fertilizer dealers to ensure that farmers and other inputs end users buy fertilizers and agrochemicals from reputable and accredited dealers not only for safety but quality assurance.

In his welcome address, the Head, Agrochemical and Quality Control Division, FISS Department, Mr. Abbas Bashir, noted that some agrochemical plant pesticides had been banned in Europe and other developed Nations but sold in African markets particularly in Nigeria.

According to him, ‘’ it contribute among other factors in the rejection of our food exports, these includes; Chloropyrifos, Blocade, Certilain, Oleorel, Pyrinex, Reldan 22 and Neonicotinoid’’.

In his Goodwill Message, the National President, Northwest Agro Inputs Dealers Association, Alhaji Kabiru Fara, commended the Ministry for coming up with such initiative and pledged the support of the Association in the fight against fake fertilizers and agrochemicals inputs to boost the agricultural production in the country.

Signed: Obe Mbosire: Information Officer, for Director Information (FMARD.)

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