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General News of Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Source: GNA

Stakeholders review Fertiliser Control Act

Accra, Nov. 25, GNA - Over 100 stakeholders in the fertiliser sector on Tuesday met in Accra to review the Fertiliser Control Draft Bill for onward presentation to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).

The MOFA is developing the Fertiliser Act to make it possible to regulate the importation, marketing and distribution of fertilisers in the country, after government relinquished its role as sole importer and distributor in the early 1990s to the private sector. Mr Lambert Lans Delimini, a Consultant for MOFA, said the regulation of fertilisers' importation and distribution was crucial for the country's agricultural development, considering emerging threats being posed by engaging private players. He indicated that there were no mechanisms in place to strictly inspect the quality of fertilisers imported into the country, leading to adulteration by some local distributors and disregard for quality standards.

Mr Delimini explained that the Act, which would serve the interests of both entrepreneurs and farmers, would mandate the establishment of a Regulatory Unit to inspect the quality of fertilisers. He said regulatory bodies such as the Ghana Standards Board, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and the University of Ghana Ecological Department would also assist MOFA through laboratory analyses to ascertain the veracity of claims made by the manufacturers on the fertilisers.

Mr Delimini noted that the bill, which was last reviewed in 2001, would also mandate the establishment of a Committee to advise MOFA and government on policy issues in the procurement and use of fertilisers. He expressed the hope that MOFA would expedite action on the bill in order to have the first fertiliser regulatory framework for the country in place next year. 25 Nov. 08

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