Investment in fertilizer industry hits $4.5 billion
• Data collection challenges subsector’s growth
The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) has disclosed that investment in the fertilizer industry has risen to about $4.5 billion.
The Chief Executive Officer of AFAP, Jason Scarpone, who made the disclosure during the Nigeria Fertilizer Roadmap Stakeholders Consultation yesterday, in Abuja, described the sub-sector’s growth as an economic potential that has the capacity to reduce importation of food into the country.
Although he noted that fertilizer utilisation in Nigeria was still inadequate and significantly lower than what was obtainable in Kenya, the AFAP boss maintained that the challenges present new opportunities for the country to tap into.
“Despite the fall in oil prices, declining foreign exchange reserves and constrained availability of foreign currency in the last two to three years, the fertiliser sub-sector in Nigeria has attracted significant investments of about $4.5 billion from the private sector.
“Notable among these investors include but not limited to Notore, Indorama, and Dangote. Their respective investments have been the largest ever in the Nigerian agriculture sector,” he said.
Scarpone pointed out that investments in the agriculture sector in Nigeria remains a beacon of hope for the transformation of millions of rural communities and in stimulating the broader economic growth in the country.
He disclosed that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and AFAP commissioned a study on the impediments of fertiliser market development in Nigeria, with a view to developing strategies to address such constraints.
He explained that despite Federal Government’s interventions in the fertiliser distribution chain, farmers were still faced with low yields and in some cases, lack of access by some farmers.
Also, AFAP consultant, Scott Wallace, affirmed that some of the recommendations made by the meeting were need for the government to develop a regulatory system that would ensure that there is quality and true labeling of produce.