-Audu Ogbeh, Nigerian Agriculture Minister
The International Fertilizer Development Centre has predicted an exponential increase in fertilizer consumption by Nigerian farmers as a result of the remarkable improvements in the local blending of the commodity.
According to a report recently released by the IFDC in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organisation and other international agencies, fertilizer uptake by Nigerian farmers increased by 63 per cent in 2017, rising from 959,364 metric tonnes in 2016 to 1,564,816 metric tonnes. In contrast, Ghana recorded 82 per cent increase in fertilizer consumption.
Although unlike Nigeria that has totally eliminated subsidy from the system, reportedly, Ghana’s increased consumption was driven by a spike in government subsidy programmes.
The report, also noted the increase in the exportation of Urea by Nigeria, it stated that exports of Urea increased from 329,630 metric tonnes in 2016 to 659,603mt in 2017, with over 50 per cent of the product going to Brazil. It also highlighted some of the achievements being recorded in agriculture through the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative of the Nigerian Government and hinged the fertilizer growth enablers on the revival of blending plants with the active support of the Central Bank of Nigeria intervention and other agencies of the government.