How Buhari’s PFI programme boosts fertiliser supply for farming in Nigeria

How Buhari’s PFI programme boosts fertiliser supply for farming in Nigeria

 

Ogbonnaya Chukwu, the general manager, Ebonyi State Fertiliser and Chemical Company Limited (EFCCL) sat behind a busy desk in his scantily-furnished office as he spoke glowingly about the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative while a generator coughed outside.

“Last year the company joined the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) of the federal government and since then the company has grown through leaps and bounds and is now making serious impact, not only in Ebonyi State but in the South-east geo-political zone and in the South-south states,” Mr Chukwu said proudly.

Mr Chukwu said the fertiliser plant, set up 14 years ago with a capacity to produce 40 metric tonnes of fertiliser every hour, soon went comatose due to poor demand as a result of the proliferation of imported fertiliser.

 

But in 2016, the state government breathe life back into the dying plant after it invested N100 million towards its revival which allowed the plant to participate in the PFI.

In a swift turnaround, between April and August 2017, the plant, produced 100,046 bags of fertiliser as demand continued to soar, Mr Chukwu said.

In order to meet that demand, the EFCCL is now constructing two new warehouses and a new blending facility.

The Presidential Fertiliser Initiative

During the visit of the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI to Nigeria in December 2016, the federal government and the Moroccan government facilitated a partnership between the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and the OCP, a state-owned Moroccan phosphate producer.

The agreement was aimed at breaking the country’s reliance of the importation of compound fertilisers,

which has replete with corruption, hoarding and has left the government with billions in

unpaid debt.

The partnership was mandated to help achieve the local production of one million metric tonnes of blended Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK 20:10:10) fertiliser for the wet season farming, and an additional 500,000 metric tonnes for dry season farming.

According to the PFI, blending plants are to be supplied the four components of producing the NPK

The PFI caters exclusively for the production of NPK which is also referred to as a “multi-nutrient” fertiliser as opposed to “single super phosphate and urea, which are already being manufactured in the country.”

Due to the discount negotiated with OCP, local blending plants are able to produce the finished products and deliver to farmers at N5,500 per bag. The blending plants are paid a blending fee of N620 per bag for their effort. Dealers who buy the bag at N5000 are allowed to make N500 as profit for each bag sold.

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