By Mercy Omoike
Lagos, June 17, 2021 Nigeria should criminalise the proliferation and use of harmful fertilisers on crops, an agriculturist, Mr Ismail Olawale, said in Lagos on Thursday.
Olawale is a Fellow of the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Service (NAERLS).
He told newsmen that declaring the proliferation of harmful fertilisers as a criminal offence was one way to stop the menace.
He said regulatory bodies in charge of fertilisers must go the extra mile to address the application of harmful fertilisers owing to its danger to human health.
“There are regulatory bodies, protocols and laws that should stop the proliferation and application of fake and harmful fertiliser on crops by farmers.
“The dedication to the operationalisation of these laws is what we should question. We should also question the commitment of farmers to grow crops with less harmful products.
“To check the proliferation of harmful fertilisers and their subsequent application on crops, there should be rigorous monitoring and apprehension. People should be made to face the law.
“Proliferation of harmful fertilisers should not be viewed as a civil offence but as a criminal offence because the accumulation of these chemically-laden fertilisers is harmful to human health in long run.
“Offenders should be made to face the law when caught applying harmful fertilisers or chemicals to boost crop growth,’’ he said.
Olawale also urged farmers to desist from applying harmful fertilisers and substances on crops in their quest for extra profit.
According to him, farmers should be made to understand that applying harmful chemical/fertilisers to boost crop growth is ultimately harmful to human health.
“To address the application of harmful fertilisers on crop borders on dedication, trust and the fear of the understanding that these substances are harmful to human health.
“There are mischievous regulators, farmers, and marketers who in a bid to make extra profit allow the proliferation and application of harmful fertilisers on crops.
“Even when some farmers are made aware of the dangerous contents of some fertilisers by the manufacturers, the farmers still insist on their quest for high crop version irrespective of their contents.
“Some farmers believe so much in the philosophy of high yield without minding the consequences on the final consumers,’’ Olawale said.
By Mercy Omoike