Fake fertilizer flooding markets

The Department of Market Management under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said they had uncovered over 300 producers of low quality fertilizer or imitation brands in the past year.

Fake fertilizer was uncovered by market management forces in Binh Chanh District in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

According to the Department of Cultivation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, most of the low quality fertilizers were fake, and being sold in the market as NPK, bi-organic and bio-inorganic fertilizers, as these are in high demand and easy to adulterate or manufacture.

Le Quoc Phong, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Fertilizer Association and also director-general of the Binh Dien Fertilizer Company, said that of late, Kali fertilizer is being counterfeited in high volumes. The method to produce fake products is very easy-by simply grinding half-baked bricks with some salt and coloured powder.
Nguyen Hac Thuy, general secretary of the association, said that taking advantage of drought conditions in the Central Highlands, some traders mixed urea with water and sold for VND50,000 per five litre tank, advertising it as a new variety of urea.
Recently, authorities’ uncovered five units in Binh Thuan, Binh Duong, Can Tho City and Ho Chi Minh City that were falsely labeled under well-known brands.

The most serious case is of a company in Can Tho City, where officials found the fertilizer contained only salt and food colouring, nothing else.


At present, it is quite easy for businesses to get licenses to produce fertilizer as authorities only inspect the products after it reaches the market.

This loophole allows many units to falsely declare wrong ingredients on the fertilizer packing and some even pack it in imitation packaging of well-known brands.

Le Quoc Phong said that lax management has caused a surge in small fertilizer businesses, many of them producing low quality products and cheating farmers who are lured by cheaper pricing.

The state should tighten management, and monitor all individuals or organisations wanting to produce or trade in fertilizer, demanding a quality standard from all.

Besides, the state should also implement strong measures to crack down on counterfeit fertilizer manufacturers. At present, counterfeiters get away with a small fine of VND40-50 million.

By Thu Tuyet – Translated by Hai Mien

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