Nigeria can produce eight million metric tonnes of fertiliser every year. The programme lead for the African Fertiliser Initiative with the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC), Sebastian Nduva, made this known while speaking at the NPK Technical Working Group Validation Workshop in Abuja.
The expert said Nigeria had the largest number of registered fertilizer blending plants in Africa and is close to being self-sufficient in NPK fertiliser production.
“Nigeria has 70 registered fertiliser blending plants in the country. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of the major farm inputs, among other factors, about 500,000mt is demanded,” he said.
Mr Nduva also said the high cost of fertilisers was due to the importation of 40 per cent of raw materials used for fertiliser production, the local price of the farm input influenced by global forces, currency devaluation, conflicts in Eastern Europe has affected the sourcing market among other factors.
He said stakeholders believe that if the government can take advantage of local production and the efficient and transparent system along with the procurement and distribution of fertiliser, it will help reduce farmers’ costs.
Also speaking, the senior special assistant to the president on agribusiness and productivity enhancement, Kingsley Uzoma, commended the IFDC for aligning with the government’s objective to enhance food security.
Mr Uzoma said with the data provided on the dashboard, the federal government can offer valuable guidance to potential investors in the fertiliser industry.
He suggested the need for the programme to consider including fertiliser quality, saying the inclusion would provide a more comprehensive overview of the industry, benefiting both investors and government initiatives.
The president of the Fertiliser Producers and Supplier Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Abubakar Kasim, recalled that President Bola Tinubu rolled out plans to distribute fertilisers to farmers.
The FEPSAN president also agreed that the fertiliser blending plants in the country have installed a capacity of eight million metric tonnes of NPK but have never produced beyond two million metric tonnes due to a lack of raw materials foreign exchange, among other limitations.