A leading fertiliser producer, OCP Africa, is selling NPK 20:10:10 fertiliser at a subsidised rate to 7,500 smallholder farmers in Niger as part of COVID-19 palliatives.
OCP Africa is one of the leading companies in the global production and exportation of phosphate-based fertilisers.
Mr Isaac Odey, Business Development Officer, OCP Africa, Nigeria, gave the figure while distributing the fertilisers in Lambata, Gurara LGA of the state.
Odey said that the gesture was to support the federal and Niger governments’ efforts in ensuring food security in the country.
“OCP Africa is supporting each farmer to access two bags of the PFI blended NPK 20:10:10 at N4,500 per bag in stead of N5,000 per bag.
”In Niger, 7,500 farmers will be reached through three fertiliser distribution outlets within agricultural producing zones, creating employment and empowerment for 71 people in stock management, training, extension service and produce offtake,” Odey said.
He said that the palliative was aimed at supporting smallholder farmers.
”This will help to mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the current farming season through distribution and access to subsidised fertiliser and other farm inputs,” the officer said.
He added that OCP Africa was also supporting farmers through training and extension services, access to markets and digital technology, in a bid to increase crop yield and ensure food security as the farming season commence.
Odey said that the outlets include Lambata, Zungeru and Bida which cut across the three senatorial districts of the state, adding that each outlet was entitled to 250 tonnes of NPK 20:10:10 fertiliser.
In his remarks, Alhaji Zakari Jikantoro, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, lauded OCP Africa’s efforts to support farmers to boost their production.
Jikantoro, represented by Alhaji Suleiman Almustapha, Managing Director of the Niger State Agricultural Mechanisation Development Authority (NAMDA), said the state government would continue to collaborate with agro dealers to build capacity of extension staff and provide inputs for farmers.
“OCP Africa’s intervention is a commendable effort; as a government, we will continue to collaborate with any company ready to assist our farmers to increase production of crops, ” he said.
A beneficiary, Malam Hashimu Usman, also commended OCP Africa for the gesture.
“We are happy with OCP because, before now, we buy fertiliser for between N7,000 and N8,000 per bag, but today we are buying at N4,500.
“This will help boost our food production,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that OCP Africa is working with the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) of the Federal Government and blending plants under the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN).
The idea is to contribute to the PFI objective of providing access to locally-produced NPK 20:10:10 fertiliser for smallholder farmers.