Tambuwal reaffirms support for investment in economic development
. Lays foundation for $13m fertilizer blending plant
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has reiterated his support for investment capable of improving wellbeing of the people and uplifting them from poverty.
Tambuwal said this yesterday, at the groundbreaking of OCP Africa’s $13 million Sokoto Agricultural Centre of Excellence comprising a fertilizer blending plant with a production capacity of 200,000 metric tonnes (MT) per annum and training facilities for farmers, fertilizer blenders and others in the agricultural value chain.
He said the State has one of the largest deposits of high-quality phosphate in Nigeria, which makes the establishment of the plant a big step towards making fertilizer readily available and affordable to all farmers in the state and the Northern region.
OCP Africa, a subsidiary of the world’s leader in the phosphate industry and its derivatives, OCP Group, said the blending plant, which becomes operational in July 2021, has the capability to blend NPK with micronutrients.
The project, according to the group, will contribute significantly towards the achievement of Nigeria’s food security goals. Previously, farmers used to apply any available fertilizer to all plants, but with the proliferation of modern blending plants in the country, specific fertilizer based on soil and plant needs can be made available.
The Deputy Managing Director, OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Ltd., Caleb Usoh, listed facilities hosted in the plant to include, modern NPK fertilizer blending equipment, process building/warehouse, administrative building, trailer park, other ancillary facilities and a one-stop shop for farmers to access training and all farm inputs.
Usoh said the Sokoto Agricultural Centre of Excellence, which will be developed on 10 hectares of land made available by the Sokoto State Government at the Kalambaina Industrial Layout, in Wamakko Local Government, will provide direct jobs for 75 persons, and also serve as a centre of training for fertilizer manufacturers, farmers, and others in the value chain.
He explained that siting the plant in Sokoto will strengthen and expand the relationship between the company and the government and people.
Recall that around November 2019, the Government entered a business undertaking with OCP Africa in Morocco, to enhance agricultural yield for farmers, and ultimately, increase the state’s Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).
Governor Tambuwal’s visit to Morocco marked the commencement of a cooperation agreement with OCP for the establishment the blending plant in the state, working with the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), which had earlier keyed into the initiative to tap into its phosphate deposits for fertilizer production to scale agricultural productivity.
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