Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has called on officials at a local level to crack down on fertilizer production after a slew of fake products flooded the market, particularly the Mekong Delta.
Local leaders should take responsibility for fake fertilizer found in their localities, he said during a recent national conference on Fertilizer Management and Stable Agriculture Development Strategy.
Market management forces seized over 800 tons of fake and low-quality fertilizers last year, mainly in Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang, Long An, Vinh Long, Soc Trang and Ben Tre, said Do Thanh Lam, deputy director of the Market Management Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
He attributed the situation to Vietnam's shortage of equipment, funds and staff needed to screen the market for bogus fertilizer.
Nguyen Hac Thuy, vice chairman of the Vietnam Fertilizer Association, said loosened regulation on licensing producers is another reason for the large volume of fake products. Many firms which failed to meet the equipment, technology, and laboratory requirements were licensed to produce fertilizers, nonetheless.
Fake and low-quality fertilizers have seriously affected farmers. Losses caused by fake and low-quality products could hit $2 billion a year, Thuy warned.
Up to 90 percent of fertilizer producers nationwide are small firms which employ simple production technology and equipment.
Loosened quality control has allowed a large volume of low-quality fertilizer to enter the market.
Some producers mix fertilizers made by prestigious firms with cheap materials to create low-quality products that they sell at low prices said Nguyen Khang, general director of Bac Giang Agricultural Material and Technology Company.