407-13 Quality Assessment of Fertilizers Commercialized in West Africa.
Poster Number 2300
A study for the assessment of fertilizer quality in the markets was implemented by IFDC3 and ECOWAS.4 The purposes were to make a fertilizer quality diagnostic, identify causes of quality problems and to use the findings to support development and implementation of a regulatory system in the member countries of ECOWAS. Five representative countries of the sub-region were sampled. Fertilizer samples were analyzed for nutrient content and physical attributes. Characteristics of markets and dealers, as well as conditions of storage, were recorded to identify relationship of these factors with fertilizer quality.
Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire were sampled. The most frequent and severe cases of nutrient content lower than specified on the labels occur in fertilizers manufactured through bulk blending, fewer and less severe cases of nutrient deficiencies were found in imported products. Frequent degradation of fertilizer physical properties was attributed to manual and individual handling of bags, inappropriate conditions of storage and long and complex distribution chains. The probability of finding bags showing weight shorter than the label specified ranged from 0.06 to 0.41 depending on the country.
Implementing the fertilizer regulatory system that is in the process of being adopted by the ECOWAS governments is the most decisive action to solve the quality problems in the sub-region.
3Funds provided by the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
4Economic Community of West African States