There are fears that some vendors are peddling fake fertiliser in some markets in Lilongwe, a development that has resulted in Kanengo Police Station officers confiscating 24 bags filled with sand coated as fertiliser.
Kanengo Police Station spokesperson Gresham Ngwira told The Daily Times that some farmers have already fallen victim to tricksters after buying fertiliser at K58,000 per 50 kilogramme bag.
The fertiliser that is in police custody was packed in Export Trading Group (ETG) bags.
Ngwira said law enforcers acted on a tip after a woman bought some bags of fake fertiliser.
“There is a chain of people who have also been duped in a similar way. They bought fertiliser which looked authentic but, when we tried to put water in it, it transpired that it is composed of soil,” Ngwira said.
ETG Operations Manager Kennedy Msiska said the company learned about the issue through law enforcers.
He distanced the company from the incident, stressing that the company deals only with approved outlets and not vendors.
Msiska said there is a high possibility that some unscrupulous vendors are reusing ETG labelled bags after farmers use the original fertiliser.
“Sometimes, those bags are reused. People who buy the fertiliser sometimes throw away the bags. As such, others take advantage of that, clean them and reuse them,” he said.
He further said it would be hard for the company to trace such people but advised buyers to be buying from approved shops.
Meanwhile, police have launched investigations to trace people behind the fake fertiliser.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.