AFEX, AFAP unite to provide N11b to finance fertiliser production in Nigeria
AFEX Commodities Exchange and Africa Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide N11 billion finance to fertiliser blenders to boost access to it in the country.
Afex Vice President, Commercial, Hemense Orkar, during the MoU signing ceremony in Abuja, said AFEX would provide N10 billion while AFAP now make available N1 billion to about five to 10 blenders in the first season, adding that they intend to increase their finance as time goes on.
The partnership between the duo is targeted at improving fertiliser usage by farmers to increase their yield and also their financial reward at harvest. He noted that within the next two to three weeks, farmers would be able to access fertiliser in their locations.
Orkar said they are optimistic that the increase supply of fertiliser in the market would further drive down the price of the product. He explained that they are providing access to finance to blenders so they can source for raw materials to produce more fertilizer.
The Country Manager, AFAP, Matthew Adetunji, further lamented the poor access to fertiliser by farmers in the country, saying increased yield production is dependent on adequate application.
He said as a body committed to improved food security, AFAP got funding from African Development Bank to issue trade credit guarantee under a programme called African Fertiliser Finance Mechanism.
Akintunji noted that the country only produced 1.4million metric tone of fertiliser last year and they are looking at supporting all the stakeholders in the sector to increase production to about 2 million mt.
He bemoaned the inability to bridge the demand and supply gap in the subsector, saying due to the huge market opportunity in the sector, even a 10million mt of fertiliser may still not be enough.
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