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Former Agric Minister at Fertilizer Commission

Dec 16, 2011, 1:49 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Dr Sulayman Sait Mboob, former Minister of Agriculture, yesterday appeared before the fertilizer commission sitting at the High Court premises in Banjul.

Mboob informed the commission that he is a specialist in agricultural chemicals, and returned to The Gambia after the completion of his education in 1974.

He said he worked for the government for nine years, and later joined FAO, and was deployed to the Central Africa Republic, adding that after his retirement from FAO, he returned to The Gambia.

“I had a career in agriculture, both locally and at the International level”, he stated, adding that he has been following the proceedings of the commission.

Mboob said he agreed that all compound fertilizer, including NPK, must be regular, adding that when he read from the papers that the compound fertilizer was in a powdery form, he was alarmed because compound fertilizer is never in a powdery form.

Stating that the only reason the compound fertilizer could be in a powdery form is when it was fake, he adding that by mere observation you could not tell whether it was fake or not.

He noted that the best practice for fertilizer to be tested was before off loading it.

“It is unimaginable for importing a product without any chemical tests on it,” he explained, adducing that there are a lot of industrial wastes, and whoever the supplier of the fertilizer was must have access to the industrial waste.

He said that the fertilizer must be tested to ascertain whether it was an industrial waste or not, and that any industrial waste may carry some metal which could be so dangerous to the people of The Gambia.

Modou Sarr, executive director of the NEA was also at the fertilizer commission, and told the commission that the agency at the moment could not conduct a chemical test on the fertilizer, because the lab was not fully equipped.

He added that they did send samples to Senegal for testing, stating that testing could take a week or so, depending on the availability.

He said that if they are given a sample they could have it back before next week.