NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
THE Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) has seized inferior fertiliser in Luapula Province valued at K37,400 after the Zambia Correctional Services (ZCS) in the province complained that they had bought a low-quality product from a local dealer.
In a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday, ZABS head of marketing and public relations Hazel Zulu said 82 bags of the fertiliser, each weighing 50 kilogrammes, were seized in Mansa and Nchelenge.
Ms Zulu said 60 bags of fertiliser were seized in Mansa, while 42 were confiscated in Nchelenge.
She said ZABS conducted the exercise to seize the fertiliser which was supplied to ZCSâ€™s Mansa Prison by a named dealer in Nchelenge.
Ms Zulu said on June 13, Mansa Prison authorities reported to ZABS that it bought three tonnes of fertiliser from the Nchelenge supplier.
This was after the prison authorities received a tip-off from the public who had also been using the inferior fertiliser.
â€œAfter getting a tip-off about the quality of the product, the prisons authorities sent samples of the fertiliser to Mount Makulu Research Centre in Lusaka for testing where results showed that the fertiliser was substandard as it did not meet the requirements of the standard as stipulated,â€ she said.
Ms Zulu said the fertiliser was confiscated because the product failed all the principal elements stipulated in the specifications for D-compound.
She said the standard for compound fertilisers is ZS431:2014, which specifies the requirements for the nutrient content in compound fertilisers.
Ms Zulu said the product was packaged and labelled as Nyiombo Investments Limited (Eastern Central Africa) and Minjingu Mines and Fertilisers of Tanzania.
â€œIn this vein, ZABS would like to take this opportunity to alert the public, particularly farmers, to look out for such a product as it is a compromised product which can adversely affect their yields,â€ she said.
She said ZABS is currently investigating the matter to ensure that this product is completely removed from the market to safeguard the environment and to also ensure that consumers get value for their money.
NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka