Source- KNN India


Amidst the furore on testing of Nestle’s Maggi, where the different state labs in India gave different results, government is trying to clean up another messy field - fertilizer testing. 

The Government of India has launched Fertilizer Quality Control System (FQCS) portal to improve the effectiveness of Fertilizer Quality Control (FQC) mechanism.

The FQCS portal is a web based and configurable workflow application developed for processing of fertiliser sample collection, testing and generation of analysis reports.

There are 74 notified fertilizer quality control laboratories in the country for analysis of fertilizer samples which include one central lab (Faridabad), three regional labs (Mumbai, Kalyani, Chennai) and 70 labs in the states. 

However the issue of capability of the state labs remains suspect as none of them is accredited.

A detailed study by noted Indian economist Laveesh Bhandari and Sumita Kale conducted for Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME), ‘Fertilizer Quality Control in India - The need for systemic change’, had highlighted the serious flaws in sample testing system.

The study had found out that most of the labs run by state governments - similar to the one used for testing of Maggi in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, are not approved by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).  They lack even basic systems to adhere to testing quality regime such as periodic calibration of equipment, record of tests.

FISME study conducted on 71 labs through data collected series of RTI applications found in three fourth of the cases the samples were failed because of frivolous reasons. In most of the cases, samples were passed later at appellate level during re-tests at better equipped labs. 

Pointing out to the deficiencies, the study reported that these state run labs neither have accreditation, nor a system of period quality audit nor traceability of tests.