Hoàng Trung, director general of the Plant Protection Department, talks to the newspaper Nông thôn Ngày nay (Countryside Today) on his department’s resolve to eliminate low quality fertiliser from the market
Has the Department of Plant Protection come up with any proposal to help the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the course of setting rules to the management of fertiliser in the country?
Immediately following the Government’s decision to assign the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to undertake the State management’s role on fertiliser nation wide, the MARD has come up with a proposal to replace the Government’s Decree 202 on fertiliser management with the Decree 108 with simpler administrative procedures. The Decree 108 was then issued on September 20, 2017.
Since the Decree 108 came into force, it has become an effective tool to help functional government agencies to better management the circulation on fertiliser nation wide.
The document laid a special emphasis on field trial. It said ‘all agricultural products must be subjected to field trials before mass production – except a certain list of organic fertilizers and approved scientific projects.’
Under the Decree 108, licenses for fertiliser production will be only valid in five years, not for life long as in the past.
Also under the Decree 108, any agent wants to sell fertiliser it must meet a certain requirements from the MARD.
What is more important is that the Decree 108 has decided to decentralise some administrative procedures to local governments. Under the Decree 108, 6 out of its 8 conditions are delegated to Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDs) or Provincial Department of Cultivation and Plant Protection. With such power delegation, provincial departments will have to take responsibilities for what is happening in their localities.
Are there any progress so far since the Decree 108 came into force?
By now 14,174 organics and non-organics fertilisers have been produced by 706 plants nation-wide with a volume of 26.5 million tonnes of non-organic fertiliser and 2.5 million tonnes of organic fertiliser, plus 2.5 million tonnes of imported tonnes per year. All in all, in the whole country, we have a total of some 33 million tonnes of fertiliser per year – a triple increase compared to the actual demand in our agricultural production. (Việt Nam needs between 10-11 million tonnes/year)
This fact has led to a huge redundant of fertiliser in the market and this makes a difficult choice for the buyers to make decision which type of fertiliser – the better quality to buy.
This has posed a tough question for the MARD to make its final decision. We all see eye to eye the necessity to set new technical standards for the production of both organic/non organic fertilisers. We hope by late May, we’ll issue new technical standards for the production of organic/non organic fertilisers in Việt Nam. In other words, we hope, there will be no place for low quality fertilisers in the markets.
By now some 4,000 fertiliser products have been granted licences and 1,200 low quality fertilisers have been erased from the market.
What are the challenges that the MARD, including the Department of Plant Protection will face in their new assigned duties then?
It is undeniable, the assignment is very demanding for both the MARD and the Department of Plant Protection. At present, all legal foundations for the implementation of the Decree 106 has just come into force. To ensure the Decree 106 will be strictly up hold, for the immediate future we need to launch a communication campaign to raise the farmers’ awareness on the changing from using organic fertiliser to non-organic fertiliser for the users’ benefits and for the environment in general.
Organic agriculture development is the right choice for us and for the world people. In the Decree 108, we have laid emphasise on the Government’s policy to give priorities on the manufacturing of organic fertiliser.
We’re also confident that with positive support from concerned agencies and localities, the fertiliser market will be well under the control. Meanwhile, we also vow to give due sanctions to anyone one who sell low quality or fake fertilizer in the market.--VNS