Kwara hopeful of big harvest as OCP Africa distributes fertilisers to farmers

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OCP Africa in partnership with the Kwara State Government has begun the distribution of NPK 20:10:10 fertiliser to 3,000 smallholder farmers in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State to boost rice production.

OCP Africa, one of the leading companies in the global production and exportation of phosphate-based fertilisers, is working within the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

It is also working with Blending plants under the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria to contribute to the PFI objectives of providing access to locally produced NPK 20:10:10 fertiliser for smallholder farmers.

Isaac Odey, Business Development Officer, OCP Africa Nigeria, said during the flag off of distribution of the fertilizers in Kwara State that the intervention was to support the Federal and State Governments’ efforts in ensuring food security in the country.

Aminu Adisa Logun, Chief of Staff to Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, said the distribution of subsidised fertilisers in Kwara would enable the state to regain its lost glory in rice production and attain food security.

“We are giving our farmers the necessary support to make the state among farming states feeding the nation. Kwara happened to be the first place to produce Rice in Northern Nigeria in those days. So, we’re bringing back the glory in Rice production,” Logun said at the flag off that was attended by a few officials and farmers owing to the COViD-19 restrictions.

“You can see the path the governor and the government have been taking since we came in. It is all about service to the people. In Edu, their main occupation is farming, so we’re giving them the facilities needed to ease their farming activities. We have given our farmers Tractors, now we’re supporting our farmers through OCP Africa, with subsidised fertilisers and by next year, we will double what we are giving them this year.”

Logun appealed to the farmers not to resell the fertilisers, but utilise them for intended purposes to boost their yields this farming season.

“We want all these bags of fertilisers to be used here in Kwara. Please try and manage all these items very well. I want to assure you that this time next year we will do much better than this,” he said.

Logun also charged OCP Africa to move its production to the state to make more impacts in the lives of the farmers through improved yields and other agronomic practices.

Technical Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Abdulquawiy Olododo, for his part said the gesture is being extended to the Kwara State Government by OCP Africa under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative.

“This programme will be reaching out to 3000 farmers in Edu Local Government Area. Each of the subsidised fertiliser will be sold at the rate of N4,500 per bag to our farmers. Each farmer is entitled to two bags of fertiliser – NPK20-10-10 – to ensure food security in the state,” Olododo said.

He added: “Farming is in phases and it is all about value chains. We have assisted farmers with Tractors for land preparation and now we are moving to input. One of the ways to ensure that farmers do not sell the items we’re giving them is the introduction of technology. OCP Africa has engaged some extension officers who will be monitoring every farmer benefitting from the fertilisers intervention through their platform called Udongo.

“OCP Africa has been working in 10 states before and Kwara happens to be the 11th. When we came in, we were looking for ways to secure various interventions and we approached OCP Africa to assist our farmers in the state with subsidised fertilisers.”

One of the farmers who spoke to newsmen in Lafiagi, Aliyu Mayaiki, thanked the state government for the intervention and solicited for more support to improve their yields.

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