HCM CITY — Distribution of fake and low-quality fertilisers is thought to be rampant in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, causing great losses to farmers.
|Inspectors examine a fertliser warehouse. More inspections and stricter punishments are needed to curb the distribution of fake and low-quality fertiliser as it causes great losses to farmers. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
Do Van Phuoc, head of the Tien Giang Province Market Management Office, said: "In 2011 we discovered eight samples of low-quality fertilisers."
All eight products' manufacturers were fined.
Worse still, some fertilisers carrying labels of prestigious brands turned out to be fake.
Inspectors from the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also found nine other samples containing only half of the organic substances they claimed to have.
"Many farmers have complained about fake and low-quality fertilisers," Le Minh Duc, director of the Long An Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said.
"Farmers spent money but damaged their crop. I want to punish these violators severely."
But he admitted that related authorities could not check all brands because there are too many producers.
Another problem is that by the time authorities discover fake products, most of the stocks are sold out.
Besides, the penalties are too mild to deter producers of fake.
"The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) should be more circumspect while licensing fertiliser production," La Van Be, head of the Ben Tre Province Market Management Office, said.
"The ministry has granted too many licences.
"Some producers use basic equipment which can't ensure quality."
Pham Van Du, deputy head of MARD's Department of Plant Cultivation, said fake and low-quality fertilisers were produced by small workshops and sold in remote areas.
"We will take necessary measures to stop this," he promised.
But, curiously, authorities around the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta have a common refrain when farmers demand that they name the dubious brand and their producers: it is not possible because the violators "have paid fines and taken back all their products."
There are 400 producers churning out 4,000 fertiliser products, but few of them are large companies or renowned products. — VNS