By Gabriel Ewepu, Abuja
The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, PFI, Friday, assured farmers of subsidized fertilizer rate for farmers’ affordability and accessibility in the 2020 wet season planting.
This was disclosed by the Chairman, PFI, who also is the Governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono, at the headquarters in Abuja.
Abubakar explained that their visit was to inform the Minister on the preparedness and plans on fertilizer production for 2020 wet season planting, which he also said the production of NPK 20-20 fertilizers with locally sourced materials will be accessible and affordable to farmers and will in turn positively impact the economy.
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It will be recalled that the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, PFI, was flagged-off in December 2016 by President Muhammed Buhari, with the mandate of supporting domestic blending of NPK fertilizer towards reducing the challenges of affordability, accessibility, and application by farmers.
The fertilizer industry has a blending capacity of 4 million tonnes of NPK annually and 2 million tonnes of production of Urea including a capacity to employ over 250,000 people for both direct and indirect jobs.
He said: “We have come to brief the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on preparation and planning for the production of fertilizers for the 2020 wet season.
“Through the production of fertilizers locally, the moribund fertilizer plants will be revived and it will, in turn, create employment for Nigeria.
“In order to improve on the production and ensure its availability and affordability to the Nigerian farmers, production will be increased and will be sold at a subsidized rate to the farmers, especially the NPK 20-20, which is the most sort after by the farmers.”
According to the governor, the committee is considering the possibility of exporting NPK 20-20 fertilizer to other countries that will also generate foreign exchange.
“If it succeeds in getting phosphate in Sokoto and potash around Yobe, then there will be the possibility of enriching its blend for export”, he said.