About 200,000 smallholder farmers in Nigeria will spend less in buying fertiliser this farming season at the commencement of the $2.2 million fund project provided by the Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM) to boost the supply of fertiliser for retailers across the country.
The project, launched in March 3, 2020 with partnership from Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) is to provide credit to 142 fertiliser suppliers, agro-dealers and retailers who were captured into the fertiliser financing scheme across West Africa to upscale and accelerate fertiliser distribution chain in the region even as the farming season approaches.
According to Nana-Aisha Mohammed who represented AFAP, international organisations and government agencies with relevant stakeholders in the country’s fertiliser value chain will work harmoniously on existing framework which will guarantee the delivery and ease the distribution of fertilisers to the 200,000 farmers.
“We will leverage on existing networks and look for creative solutions to increase the availability of fertiliser in the country,” she said.
Over the years, previous administrations have been subsidising the supply of fertilisers to farmers in the country but very few of these supplies get to the hands of smallholder farmers who cultivate a larger percentage of agricultural produce consumed.
However, with this intervention fund by the AFFM, Umar Musa, assistant director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said the project “will support smallholder farmers and improve their productivity in order to help the country increase its local production and consumption of fertiliser.”
The project is expected to provide growth and support in the agricultural sector by giving farmers unrestricted access to fertilizer and record high yield in crop production after harvesting.
Due to lack of access to fertiliser, farmers experience persistent nightmares of low harvest at the end of every farming season.
Marie Claire Kalihangabo, AFFM coordinator expressed optimism that the project would achieve the desired outcomes.
“We are confident that the project will increase access to quality and affordable fertiliser by smallholder farmers and hence contribute to the transformation of the agriculture sector in Nigeria,” said Kalihangabo.
Frontpage December 16, 2019