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By Taiwo Hassan, October 12, 2018
PFI Fert bag bhThe Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) said that under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI), 18 fertiliser blending plants have been restored. With this, Nigeria’s quest to becoming an exporter of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) is becoming a reality. Taiwo Hassan reports
Indeed, Nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) otherwise known as fertiliser is one of the major agricultural inputs, which farmers depend on for increased yield during farming season.
In fact, research shows that farmers’ consumption of fertiliser in Nigeria has been on the increase in line with the current administration’s desire to prioritise agriculture as one of the country’s key revenue earners.
It is revealed that crop yield, which is solely the determinant factor of food security, can be largely determined by the rate of fertiliser consumption, especially in Nigeria due to the effects of climate change.
Unfortunately, Nigeria’s quest towards food security has been under threat following numerous challenges in the fertiliser industry despite the fact that Nigeria still consumes below 30kg per hectare of fertiliser.
However, in a renewed effort by President Muhammadu Buhari to boost agriculture with the hope of achieving self-sufficiency in food production, the Federal Government took a bold step to commence the revamping of moribund fertiliser plants in the country.
Particularly, the aim of the government with this exercise is not only to slash the price of fertiliser in the local market, but also to see that the country becomes an exporter of the product.
Fertiliser blending plants
Basically, the Federal Government has been intensifying effort to curb the influx of adulterated fertiliser into the country with its resolution under its Presidential Fertiliser Initiative to salvage ailing fertiliser blending plants in the country through prompt budget allocation to put them into use.
Precisely, the Federal Government stressed that the revival of the blending plants was borne out of need to rejuvenate the country’s agricultural outputs by making fertiliser accessible and affordable to farmers in the country.
In fact, survey showed that Nigeria now had the capacity to blend and produce fertiliser locally from the over 1.5 million tonnes its produces locally for consumption.
The increase in aggregate fertiliser production was enhanced because of the initiative of the PFI to refurbish existing fertiliser blending plants that are scattered across the country in line with government’s diversification agenda for agriculture.
FEPSAN’s position
However, the fertiliser producers, FEPSAN, disclosed that government’s PFI had already made giant strides towards making the prices of fertiliser more affordable and also available for the Nigerian farmers in order to boost food productivity in the country.
A key member of the PFI and President of FEPSAN, Mr. Thomas Etuh, stated that under the PFI, 18 fertiliser blending plants have been restored.
He explained that the revived plants were now functional and contributing to the country’s national fertiliser production.
According to him, “we then had six fertiliser plants working at 10 per cent capacity but with the introduction of PFI, we moved to 11 plants in the first phase and today, 18 out of the 32 plants are engaged in this programme.”
He added that Nigeria would soon be an exporter of NPK fertiliser, owing to the huge investment put into the industry in the last three years by the Buhari administration.
“So, I know that in the next two to three years, Aliko Dangote’s fertiliser plant will start production and others are also coming up. Currently, Nigeria is a net exporter of Urea-based fertiliser.
“With the Aliko plant coming on board and INDORAMA increasing to a second line, we will be producing about 7 million tonnes of fertiliser. About 70 per cent of the fertiliser would be for exports, while the remaining 30 per cent would be used within the country.’’
Continuing, the FEPSAN president revealed that Nigeria had saved about $200 million in foreign exchange from the discovery of 63 per cent local source raw materials needed in boosting fertiliser production.
He also stated that the sourcing of 63 per cent local raw materials in fertiliser production had also saved the Federal Government about N60 billion in fertiliser subsidy. With this, the Federal Government is eyeing export of fertiliser by 2020.
Etuh explained that investment in fertiliser production provided jobs and that the nation had saved a significant amount in foreign exchange and subsidy payment to fertiliser distributors.
Export potential
In a bid towards achieving fertiliser export, it is very certain that Nigeria will begin to export fertiliser in the next two years going by the programme of the PFI.
No doubt, the PFI of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had seen the revival of 18 fertiliser blending plants in the country out of the 32 plants identified and is now working towards increasing production for export of the product to neighbouring countries.
Etuh explained that the successes being achieved in the fertiliser industry are because of the proactive government of President Buhari to see that Nigeria gets exporting status of a fertiliser export nation.
“Once we have a proactive government like we have now, in the next two years, things will turn around in the fertiliser industry. It will be sufficient and we will be able to supply our neighbouring countries in West Africa with the products.
“At the moment, Dangote has gone into agreement to produce about 2.8 million tonnes of fertiliser by 2019; that is a big injection into the industry.
“The future is very bright for the fertilizer industry because at the moment in Nigeria, we are using 10 kilogrammes of fertilizer per hectare as against world average of 100 kilogrammes,” he said.
The FEPSAN president said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), provided the necessary funds needed for the revival of the industry.
He noted that fertiliser supply had significantly increased in the country in the last three years compared to what was obtainable in previous years.
“This is an excellent and wonderful achievement; the PFI is one of the best things that happened to agriculture in Nigeria over the years.
“So many programmes have been put in place to supply fertilisers to farmers over the years but none succeeded like this one.
“This present initiative ensured that fertilizer is produced locally and not imported; only few raw materials are imported, while others are sourced locally with over 250,000 direct employments.
“Activities have been generated in the value chain in terms of transportation, labour engagements at the plants including loading and offloading.
“Distributors have been registered to distribute the product; all these activities have brought change in agriculture and particularly the fertilizer industry.
“Availability and supply of fertilizer has greatly improved since this programme started in February this year,” he said.
Last line
It is the hope of Nigerians and local farmers that Federal Government’s focus to shift attention to export market would not stifle the availability of the products for local consumption, thereby fuelling more fertiliser import into the country.
https://newtelegraphonline.com/2018/10/nigerias-quest-for-fertiliser-export-gains-steam/

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Messages to Farmers

  • Apply fertilizer wisely to avoid wastage
  • Attend trainings on fertilizer use and application
  • Obtain quality fertilizers from reputable suppliers especially FEPSAN distributors
  • Store unused fertilizer away from children, fire, rain and entry of foreign material.
  • Form groups/associations to benefit from group/association dynamics.
  • Allow your crops to fully mature to get quality and values
  • Report fertilizer adulteration to the appropriate authority

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Attain improved productivity and environmental sustainability of Nigerian Agriculture through balanced and judicious use of fertilizers....Attain improved productivity and environmental sustainability of Nigerian Agriculture through balanced and judicious use of fertilizer...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

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2nd Floor Bank of Industry Building 
18 Muhammad Buhari Way, Kaduna, Nigeria. 
Mobile: +234 (803) 3174409...................sssss