Farmers in Sokoto state may have cause to smile soon, as the state government has commenced distribution of 15,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer. The fertilizer will be sold to farmers at a subsidized rate N4000 per bag.
In addition to the fertilizer, the government also distributed inputs such as goats, fishery equipment and seedlings. The inputs were distributed to beneficiaries of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) programme.
Benefits of the deal
Intervention schemes like this if replicated across the country could lead to increased patronage of fertilizer companies in the country. The Dangote fertilizer complex is billed to commence operations this year.
The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) also runs several blending plants in the country.
Notore (which bought the defunct National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria) and Indorama both operate out of Rivers State.
Agriculture is key
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has placed agricultural self-sufficiency in its agenda.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) banned several items which were hitherto imported into the country, at the peak of a foreign exchange crisis. This led to a massive improvement in the fortunes of companies involved in the production of palm oil.
IFAD was established in 1977 and is a United Nations agency saddled with the responsibility of supporting countries and regions where development. IFAD has provided over $18.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to about 464 million people.
IFAD has been active in Nigeria since 1985 and has invested in a total of $317.6 million in ten projects and programmes in Nigeria. Over 3.7 million households have benefited.