Guidelines for Handling Fertilizers by farmers and Agro dealers

Fertilizers pose little danger to humans, the environment and groundwater if handled and stored correctly. Prevention of fertilizer contamination is the best way to protect the groundwater and environment.

Dos and don’ts for handling bags of fertilizers by Agro dealers

  • Buy only enough fertilizer you can sell and afford. Don’t buy more than you can sell.
  • Check the bags for holes before you receive them from the suppliers. Do not accept damaged bags.
  • Quickly attend to bags with holes by repairing or re-bagging them. Attend to fertilizer spills right away. Sweep together the fertilizer. If not contaminated with other material, put it back in the bag. If contaminated, do not sell it. Dispose of it safely.
  • Use wooden pallets, if available, to stack bags on. Avoid stacking fertilizers on bare cement floors.
  • Use separate stacks for different types of bagged fertilizers. Leave an area open between each type.
  • Avoid unnecessary handling of bagged fertilizer to minimize the risk of damaging the bag.
  • Do follow the first in, first out principle. Put new bags in the back and older bags in the front. Sell the older bags first.
  • Have good housekeeping. Clean and conduct inspections regularly. Train the staff and look for warning signs.
  • Ensure that all fertilizers are correctly labeled
  • Keep a proper record of what is stored.
  • Ensure that store wears proper protection against fertilizer fumes and fertilizer dust.
  • Don’t store fertilizers together with fuel, oil, or gas.
  • Don’t allow unauthorized people in the fertilizer store.

Dos and don’ts on fertilizer handling by Farmers

·         Buy only the quantity and the right fertilizer you need. Don’t buy more than you need.

·         Check the bags for holes before you receive them from Agro dealers. Do not accept damaged bags.

·         Avoid unnecessary handling of bagged fertilizer to minimize the risk of damaging the bag

·         Do not mix fertilizer and seeds particularly with high soluble fertilizers like Urea, Ammonium Sulphate and Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN)

·         When fertilizer and seed mixing is considered necessary, mix just before planting and do not store mixed fertilizers for a long period

·         Do not apply fertilizer in heavy rain or if heavy rain is expected immediately after planting

·         Avoid applying of top dressing fertilizers early in the morning, preferably apply in the afternoon/cooler part of the day

·         Do not waste fertilizer whether during storage, transportation and in the field

·         Store unused/remaining fertilizer properly in a cool dry place out of reach of children, fuel, oil and gas

·         Always Contact nearest Extension Officer or trained fertilizer agro dealer/retailer for advise on the right fertilizer, quantity to apply, when and how to apply it.


1.      Farmers that did not register for GESS in 2012 should endeavour to register in 2013 at the nearest accredited center in their respective locations across the country for participation in the program this year. Don’t be left out.

2.      As rainy season approaches farmers should clear their lands in preparation for the planting season, buy required quantities of fertilizers which are usually available and affordable before the planting season. Be wise.



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