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Quality control analysis of imported fertilizers used in Ghana: the macronutrients perspective

Author(s): Sheriff Enti-Brown | Philip Owiredu Yeboah | Samuel Akoto-Bamford, et al.

Journal: Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN 2220-8860

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 27;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: fertilizer | macronutrient | quality control

The main objective of this environmental research was to validate specifications indicated by manufacturers on their fertilizer products. Selected fertilizers types were sampled from five major fertilizer importing companies in Ghana for macronutrient analysis to determine the fertilizer quality. Five analytical techniques including Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA), flame photometry, Kjeldahl method for nitrogen analysis and UV-visible spectroscopy were employed to achieve this objective. Two reference materials (IAEA Soil-7 and SRM 1646a Estuarine Sediment) were used to validate the quantitative method employed in the INAA. There was generally good agreements (98% and above) between the measured values and the certified values for the primary macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N, P and K). However, same could not be said for secondary macronutrients calcium, magnesium and sulphur (Ca, Mg and S). The secondary macronutrient values measured were compared to standard values from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in cases where they were not certified by the manufacturer. Most of the manufacturers' claims for primary macronutrients were valid. However, most of them fell short of the requirements for secondary macronutrient concentration. There is therefore the need for a good quality control system to undertake periodic quality monitoring of the chemical compositions of fertilizers imported into the country since they may directly or indirectly have impacts on the environment.
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