Fertilizer Quality Assessment in the Myanmar Dry Zone

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The Dry Zone Agro-Input and Farm Services project, which is funded by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) consortium and implemented by IFDC, carried out a fertilizer quality assessment in the Dry Zone of Myanmar, The four fertilizers of highest commercialization in Myanmar's Dry Zone-NPK 15:15:15, NPK 10:10:5, NPK 15:7:8, and NPK 16:16:8 presented out-of-compliance shortages - (OOCS) with frequencies of 9%, 19%, and 23% of the samples for total N, P₂Os, and KO, respectively. The OOCS severities relative to the fertilizer bag label specification were-1.5%, -4.7%, and -3.2% for total N. P₂Os, and K2O, respectively. The rest of the fertilizers, of lower commercialization, presented OOCS with frequencies ranging between 11% and 15% and OOCS severities ranging between 2.7% and 4.1%. Based on the relatively low OOCS severities of the macronutrients in fertilizers of high and low commercialization, the nutrient content problems in the Dry Zone are not as dramatic as reported anecdotally, but they still require attention. With no evidence of adulteration found and very mild granule degradation, nutrient shortages likely originate in the manufacture of the imported products. Port inspections should be more rigorous. Granule integrity, moisture content, and other physical properties of fertilizers were found to be good, with the exception of caking found in 12% of the samples. Storage facilities are hot and humid, but the good quality of the impermeable bags preserves the fertilizers from moisture absorption and granule degradation. The caking can be explained by bags stacked too high and the absent use of pallets. Fourteen percent of the 50-kg bags weighed presented weight shortages of more than 0.5 kg. Fertilizer quality assessments such as this should be carried out in all Myanmar agricultural areas, including formal and informal fertilizer markets. Then, the findings of the studies should be used as a foundation for the development of a Myanmar Fertilizer Quality Regulatory Framework, which will protect farmers against fertilizers of substandard quality.
Sanabria, J. 2018. “Fertilizer Quality Assessment in the Myanmar Dry Zone,” IN Myanmar Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Management Conference Proceedings, pp. 242-254, IFDC and DAR, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.