The Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) has kick-started a $2.2 million project to provide fertilizer suppliers in Nigeria with financial support to improve supply for 200,000 smallholder farmers.
The trade credit guarantee project is AFFM’s first in the West African nation and will involve 10 fertilizer suppliers, 12 hub agro-dealers and 120 retail agro-dealers. The project will also train farmers in proper fertilizer use and other agricultural best practices.
A project launch held in the capital Abuja, was attended by senior director of African Development Bank’s Nigeria Regional Office, Ebrima Faal and government and industry partners.
Participants discussed the project and its implementation with AFFM’s local partner, the Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership, or AFAP.
“We will leverage on existing networks and look for creative solutions to increase the availability of fertilizer in the country,” said Nana-Aisha Mohammed, AFAP’s representative at the ceremony.
Umar Musa, Assistant Director of FMARD’s Farm Inputs Support Services Department who represented the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) said AFAP should work with the Nigerian government and other actors in the fertilizer value chain to ensure that the project complies with Nigeria’s policies and sector strategies.
“We expect this project to support smallholder farmers and improve their productivity in order to help the country increase its local production and consumption of fertilizer,” he said.
“We are confident that the project will increase access to quality and affordable fertilizer by smallholder farmers and hence contribute to the transformation of the agriculture sector in Nigeria,” said Marie Claire Kalihangabo, AFFM Coordinator.
Kalihangabo expressed her gratitude to the Government of Nigeria for their financial support to the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism.
The Bank’s Nigeria Regional Office Faal said the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019 further serves to reinforce the government’s commitment to the sector.
“This program is timely because the government has placed measures to encourage local production of fertilizer,” he said.
The climate in Nigeria varies, as it is equatorial in the south, tropical in the center and arid in the north. Widespread introduction of fertilizer began in the late 1970s with the proliferation of Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs).
Nigeria’s fertilizer policy environment In 2001, New Agricultural Policy Thrust was issued in Nigeria. And in 2006, the National Fertilizer Policy for Nigeria was adopted, including fertilizer production policy, domestic marketing policy, international trade policy, quality control policy and environmental policy.
More than 80% of all the fertilizer consumed in Nigeria is imported.
There are 32 fertilizer production in Nigeria and suppliers, mainly located in Asia. The top supplying countries or regions are China, India, and Nigeria, which supply 87%, 9%, and 3% of fertilizer production in Nigeria respectively.
According to fertilizer market sources, apart from disruptions in the transportation of fertilizers from Lagos ports in the northern part of the country where up to 70% of fertilizers in Nigeria is consumed, delays in berthing of vessels arriving at the Lagos ports increased the costs of fertilizers at retail markets.
Low fertilizer use is professed to be among the many reasons for low agricultural productivity in Nigeria. This is related to insufficient supply, but huge demand, farmers’ low income and high fertilizer retail prices. Including, limited fertilizer manufacturers and fertilizer policy implement leads to the issue in fertilizer application. Efforts have been made through scientific investigations to find ways of increasing fertilizer use efficiency in the humid zone of the country.
After 17 years of political processes, advocating by governmental and non governmental organizations and business entities with different interests, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria signed the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act into law on 16 October 2019.
There is a wide variety of fertilizer production in Nigeria options are available. Last month, Nigeria’s Dangote Group started a test run of a $2 billion fertilizer plant that will meet all domestic demand in Africa’s most populous country. Similarly, Brass Fertilizer & Petrochemical Company Limited is developing an ammonia and methanol plant at Brass Island in Nigeria’s Bayelsa state.
The Plant will come on steam in 2022 and will produce 770,000 metric tons per annum of ammonia, 1.3 million metric tons per annum of urea and 1.75 million metric tons per annum of methanol. The Plant will come on steam in 2022 and will produce 770,000 metric tons per annum of ammonia, 1.3 million metric tons per annum of urea and 1.75 million metric tons per annum of methanol.