‘Nigeria may begin exportation of fertilisers in two years’
The Chairman of Fertilisers Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Thomas Etuh, has disclosed plans to begin mass exportation in the next two years.
He explained that this would be achieved, if current gains of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) were sustained.
Etuh explained that Nigeria is currently selling the agro input to some neighbouring countries like Benin Republic, Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.
He added that this development would help to restore the country’s position as the food basket of the West African sub-region.
The export opportunity, he revealed, would be made possible by the increased local production of fertilisers, which has increased from a mere 500,000 metric tonnes in 2015, to close to the current two million metric tonnes.
Etuh, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative, which he said, has helped farmers to access the critical agricultural input at affordable prices.
He added that the situation has further reduced their overheads, boosting yields and encouraging more players to invest in the agriculture value chain.
He said: “Before the conceptualisation and activation of the PFI, we had a situation where there were 32 fertiliser blending plants in Nigeria that were moribund.
“Out of this number, only five blending plants were functional and even then, they were producing at 10 per cent capacity on the average and that was because of the excessive emphases on importation.”
He added that the situation also meant that the country is exporting jobs, even when we cannot provide jobs here in Nigeria.
“Foreign exchange that is scarce is also spent in building other people’s economies,” he added.
According to Etuh, Nigerians must make concerted efforts to show commitment towards solving the employment challenges that have been mounting in the country over the past decades.
He stressed that one of the critical planks of reversing the trend was a sustained investment in agriculture in a creative way, as not to create losses on both the government and the people.
He also commended Buhari for showing what he called the ‘political will’ that has made it possible for the initiative to become a huge success.
On how to measure the results of the scheme, Etuh said the evidence is easily noticeable in the increasing volume of production of staples like rice and maize by farmers in the country.
This, he credited to the increased appetite for the purchase of fertilizers.
“Nigerians can testify, as well as farmers about the revolution that happened in rice and maize production, which are both good examples of moves to guarantee food security in the country.
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