- Published on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 03:10
- Written by CHRISTOPHER MAJALIWA
- Hits: 751
THE Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives is set to present a bill before National Assembly seeking to curb sale of fake and sub-standard fertilizer to farmers.
The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Adam Malima, said that some traders were mixing fertilizer with salt or cement.
Mr Malima said that the current Fertilizer Act of 2009 has weaknesses which the ministry wanted to address. Currently, the person found to have faked fertilizer is subjected to a fine of between 5m/- and 10m/-, the amount that Mr Malima described as too small to compensate for the loss caused by such substandard fertilizers.
He, therefore, said that the bill would seek to extend the fine for up to between 50m/- and 100m/-. "We must ensure that these rogue dealers are dealt with accordingly.
The bill would also seek to impose a total revocation of licences of such dealers," he said, adding that the ministry was against claims that Tanzania was a dumping place for substandard goods.
The Deputy Minister was speaking in Dar es Salaam when launching Tanzania Fertilizers Regulatory Authority (TFRA) Board of Directors, under chairmanship Prof Jonson Semoka.
Mr Malima warned dealers whose fertilizers lacked necessary description, including, batch number, manufacturing and expiry dates and other relevant information.
He said that it was a time for change, and that dealers were to be held responsible over agents that were caught with counterfeit fertilizers because dealers were the ones accredited to supply and sell fertilizers.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Mohamed Muya, said that this was not the time to laugh with such crooks. He called for joint efforts in disclosing such traders so that legal action could immediately be taken against them.