Different fertiliser brands suspected to be counterfeit and poorly labelled in Kasama, worth at approximately K113, 300, have been quarantined by the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA).
The bags were weighing 182 x 50 kilogramme (Kg).
ZCSA Head of Communications, Brian Hatyoka, in a statement issued on Sunday said the Agency had received many reports of some traders illegally repackaging and mixing chemical fertilizers with substances such as sand and other unknown substances.
These reports were reportedly from Lusaka, Copperbelt, Eastern and Northern Provinces, among other parts of the country.
Hatyoka said this led to the Agency to quarantine 122 x 50 kg bags of Yora Mila, Green Co (NPK) and Super Fert fertilizers in a truck parked at the Police Station in Kasama.
He stated that the Agency had, therefore, quarantined 60 x 50 kg bags of Gavilon D Compound fertilisers at the premises of Mutalisa General Dealers.
“In both cases, the Agency has taken samples of the quarantined products for laboratory tests before further action can be taken.
“The Agency is also investigating cases of illegal repackaging and mixing of fertilizer with unknown substances with a view of deceiving consumers in the Zambian market in Luwingu District of Northern Province,” he said.
Hatyoka sent a warning to traders and firms to avoid supplying chemical products that may harm consumers and the environment.
He stressed that the Agency would not hesitate to seize such products from erring traders and prosecute the culprits for adulterating the commodity on the market.
Hatyoka regretted that illegal repackaging and mixing of fertiliser with unknown substances had the potential of compromising the nation’s food security as fertilizer was a product of economic importance.
“ZCSA is further urging farmers to buy fertilizer only from reputable suppliers and report suppliers of fertilizer who are involved in suspicious repackaging and mixing of the commodity to the nearest Agency office or other law enforcement agencies,” he said.
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