by ANNA NTABANE
ERMELO, (Mpumalanga Guardian) – THE Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is raising awareness on the imminent Feeds and Pet Food Bill as well as the Fertilizer Bill among farmers in the Mpumalanga Province.
Farmers, members of the public, industry stakeholders and academics gathered at a public consultation at Nooitgedacht research farm in Ermelo to gain information on the major changes proposed in the bills.
These include licensing of facilities that manufacture fertilizer, animal feed and pet food.
This is a move away from the current model of pre-approval of all animal feed products before putting them in the market.
Animal feeds fertilizer in South Africa are regulated in terms of the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, 1947 (Act No.36 of 1947).
The department has drafted legislation intended to replace parts of the legal instrument.
“Since 1947, there have been significant changes in animal feeds, fertilizers and the manner in which they are processed,” said Animal Feeds and Pet Food Bill specialist, Tebogo Banda.
“These changes have resulted into consideration for review of the regulatory framework in order to put more emphasis on food and environmental safety as well as reducing regulatory burden,” she continued.
Fertilizer Bill specialist, Harry Dube, said another change is that feed manufactured on commercial farms would now be regulated, which requires some farms being required to register their manufacturing facilities.
The new Act, known as the Feeds and Pets Food Act 2018, is to come into effect once signed into law by the President.