STANDARDIZATION KEY TO NIGERIA’S AGRICULTURAL POLICY
In support of the Federal Government’s economic diversification policy, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria in collaboration with relevant Stakeholders have initiated the review of the Nigerian Industrial Standards for Fertilizer products, the packaging and labeling.
Declaring open the Technical Committee Meeting for the review of the Standards in Abuja, SON Director General, Mr. Osita Aboloma stated that the review of the Standards will encourage greater access to quality agricultural inputs by farmers in Nigeria in order to optimize their crop yields.
Represented by the Director in the DG’s Office, Barr. Richard Agu, the SON helmsman asserted that the role of standards as a unifying tool in economic emancipation cannot be over emphasized. “It is imperative for Nigeria to strengthen the competitiveness of products that are vital to the socio-economic needs of the Nation, thus making the review of the standards on fertilizer relevant globally as they affect sustenance of lives directly” he said.
According to him, the review of the Standards will provide a guide for consistent production of quality fertilizer products and serve as a document for effective monitoring of the various categories by regulatory authorities.
Mr. Aboloma challenged the array of experts in the technical committee to avail the Nation of their wealth of experience and contribute to the development of the standards in order to ensure best practices in the use of quality raw materials for the manufacture of final products in Nigeria. He stressed that their individual choices were well thought out.
Providing an overview during the technical session, SON Head of Product Certification, Mr. Tersoo Orngudwem drew attention to the need to review the levels of heavy metal and other toxic contents in inorganic fertilizers, organic fertilizers and liquid fertilizers.
According to him, the world is shifting away from inorganic fertilizers due to bio-accumulation and other health and environmental concerns.
Mr. Orngudwem disclosed that the last review of the Standards took place in 2008 and urged the technical committee members to come up with draft standards that will stand critical analysis and the test of time.
Chairman of the Technical Committee, Professor Eddy Nnabuke of Kaduna State University expressed the commitment of members to a critical review of the draft standards for consideration.
He disclosed that a total of eleven standards on fertilizer products were set for review within the 2 days of the committee’s sitting, including requirements for packaging and labeling.
Dr. Mrs. Stella Emmanuel of Sheda Science & Technology Complex, Gwagwalada, Abuja was elected the new vice chairman of the Technical Committee at the occasion.