ABOUT 150 fertilizer inspectors and 1,446 agents from various districts and municipal councils across the country have been trained on better methods of inspecting and storing fertilizer during the 2019/2020 financial year, the House was told.
The Ministry of Agriculture said this in a written response to a question by Tabora Urban Member of Parliament, Emanuel Mwakasaka, who demanded to know the government’s plan to control illegal importation of fertilizer in the country.
The MP said in his main question that uncontrolled importation of fertilizer was among the reasons for the drop in harvests because some are imported from countries with low qualities.
The MP asked “What is the government doing to control the uncontrolled importation of fertilizer,”?
In response, the ministry said because local production was not enough, the government coordinates the importation of fertilizers from producing countries, which are Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, China, Italy, Belgium Madagascar and Norway.
The ministry further added that importation is done according to the law, including the Fertilizer Act.(9) of 2009, which puts in place two systems of importation, namely Fertilizer Bulk Procurement System and the direct purchase from producers by companies.
The ministry said it offers permits for importation through the Tanzania Fertilizer Regulatory Authority (TFRA), and inspection is done in collaboration with Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Tanzania Atomic Emission Commission (TAEC) and the Government Chemist Laboratory Authority (GCLA).
In addition to that, TFRA conducts inspections of warehouses and shops to ensure that imported fertilizer is of the required qualities and standards.
“In the year 2019/20, the ministry has set aside funds for the construction of a fertilizer lab to increase efficiency and quality of fertilizers produced locally as well as those which are imported,” the ministry said.
The ministry said it will continue regulating and controlling entrance of fertilizers from abroad and ensuring that all fertilizers entering the country were of the required standards.