OCP to unveil ultramodern blending plant in Kaduna
As part of efforts aimed at solving the looming food crisis in the continent, OCP Africa, one of the leading fertiliser-producing companies, will, on Tuesday, unveil a blending plant in Kaduna State, to make fertiliser readily available and affordable for farmers in the country.
The $13.4m ultramodern plant, code-named Centre Of Excellence, is a strategic investment, founded on a ‘Toll Blending Business Model,’ with provisions for manufacturing of both soil and crop-specific fertilisers.
The Deputy Managing Director, Programme Incubation – West Africa, OCP Africa, Caleb Usoh, who disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja, said the toll blending business model would make it possible for other manufacturers to leverage on the company’s expertise and facilities for increased fertiliser and other products manufacturing in the Nigerian market.
“This would help ensure that already established industries or brands can cash in on this state-of-the-art blending plant to sustain their businesses, keep their market shares, boost the economy with homemade products and in particular contribute to solving the imminent food crisis. This is also in sync with the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) which encourages a free market system.
“Other unique facilities built into the manufacturing complex, include a fertiliser and soil testing laboratory, a retail outlet for agricultural products and services, which serves as the Farm and Fortune hub, and a demonstration farm/training school,” he said.
Usoh noted that over the years, Nigerian farmers had confronted several impediments – from problematic soils, low access to quality inputs and training to lack of storage facilities, which had hindered them from obtaining optimal value from their various farmlands, noting that if the challenges are not addressed, they’ll pose a threat to the country’s food security dream.
He said the challenges form parts of the reasons OCP Africa has taken the initiative by pioneering the development and production of speciality blends of fertiliser in line with the PFI by establishing the ultra-modern blending plants across three states – Kaduna, Ogun and Sokoto states.
The Country Manager, Nigeria – OCP Africa, Oluwatoba Asana, said the Kaduna launch will be the company’s first in the continent, noting that Ogun and Sokoto plants will soon be launched. “There’ll be more plants in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, but none of them will come upstream until the three plants in Nigeria have been inaugurated.
“So, we are starting with the plant in Kaduna and more will come. Then, the Industrial plant – the multipurpose chemical platform in Akwa Ibom possibly will come in the next five years. It is a bigger project; it’s not what we are currently doing in the three plants.”
Asana said the impact of the Kaduna plant has been enormous, “the construction part has provided about 300 jobs to the country’s economy. I can only tell you that out of the 300 people involved only five were foreigners, which means 295 of the people that participated in the construction project were all Nigerians.
“Today, we have moved from the construction to the operational phase and we have over 200 employees; none of them is a foreigner. So, this is what we have brought to the table in form of job creation.”