Despite a multifaceted fertilizer quality regulatory process with numerous and diverse participants, fertilizer quality remains a challenge in Nigeria. Fake, adulterated, and misbranded fertilizers, as well as underweight fertilizer bags are prevalent in the Nigerian market (FGN 2006). Not only have fertilizer quality issues been identified as a major constraint to fertilizer use in Nigeria, but farmers have indicated interest in higher fertilizer use, despite the cost, if they were assured of improved quality (Nagy and Edun 2002; Chude 2006). Though currently absent, the importance of access to affordable, timely, and good quality fertilizer for increased agricultural productivity and food security in Nigeria is clear. Consequently, this study examines fertilizer quality regulation in Nigeria. Using primary data collected from state officials in charge of fertilizer and from fertilizer production and blending plants, we explore the extent to which the Nigerian fertilizer sector is effectively regulated to ensure the quality of fertilizers delivered to farmers. The study found that the nature and sources of fertilizer quality challenges in Nigeria are well known, cutting across all fertilizer products in the market. Though there are bodies mandated to monitor fertilizer quality, the regulatory system for fertilizer quality in Nigeria is not clearly defined and well developed. The study results indicate that addressing fertilizer quality challenges in Nigeria is imperative requiring a holistic approach to the regulation of fertilizer production and distribution in the country. A clear assignment of monitoring and regulatory roles is needed at every stage of fertilizer production (blending) and distribution with a broader reach to peri-urban and rural markets.
by Saweda L.O. Liverpool-Tasie, Abba A. Auchan and Afua B. Banful