OCP, one of the leading companies in the global production and exportation of phosphate-based fertilizers, says it’s planning to grow involvement in 2020 to cover 75,000 smallholder farmers.
It also offered farmers and agriculture practitioners an inclusive end-to-end value chain solution for increased revenues.
A statement on Thursday said the Initiative tagged Agribooster, which was launched in 2017, supports smallholder farmers to get access to good quality farm inputs, financial services, markets, and training with extension services centered on Good Agricultural Practices while improving the yield and productivity of the farmer.
Speaking on the initiative, the Business Development Manager for OCP Africa Nigeria, Mr. Akintunde Akinwande, said, “This initiative allows sharing of efforts and feeds from each partner’s experiences. Following the decline in agricultural production in Nigeria, we are pleased to have programmes like this which are fashioned towards helping smallholder farmers, and the empowerment of young extension agents to fight insufficiency and insecurity of both food and cash crops.”
Akinwande explained that the scheme also trained and equipped about 30 last-mile agents with Motorcycles and Tablets to work directly with farmers.
One of the benefactors of the initiative, Deborah Emmanuel, a female farmer from Pampaida-Ikara, Kaduna State said, “I can now afford to send my daughter to a good school.”
Managing Director of ABU Microfinance bank, Alhaji Aminu Mohamed, said “This is the first and only project that has brought about quality business opportunity and income in the lives of our farmers.
“The Agribooster project aided quick access to quality input, increased awareness on financial literacy, banking/saving culture amongst farmers cooperatives, and most importantly provided a platform for increase business and sustainable engagement between the University and its host community”.”
Professor Oluwafunmilola Alabi of the Faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University also said “The Agribooster project opened opportunities for Faculty students as regards entrepreneurship, business and extension services.”
“And in light with the efforts by Federal and State governments in Nigeria to battle the adverse effects of the COVID pandemic on Food sufficiency and security, OCP Africa would also be implementing an Agribooster-themed “Palliative Intervention for Smallholder Farmers” across several states in Nigeria. This intervention which would be launched in a few days and would give farmers access to subsidised bags fertilizers provided by OCP Africa under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.
“Under this new initiative by OCP Africa, farmers will be able to access NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer at a subsidized retail price, while benefitting from GAP training, digital technology support and market linkages all provided as an incentive and a booster bundle under OCP Africa’s Covid-19 initiative,” the statement added.