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OCP Africa begins distribution of fertiliser to farmers in Kwara

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OCP Africa begins distribution of fertiliser to farmers in KwaraThe OCP Africa, a leading company in the global production and exportation of phosphate-based fertiliser, says it has begun the distribution of the NPK 20-10-10 brand of its product to 3,000 smallholder farmers.

The company said the distribution was in partnership with the Kwara Government to farmers in the Edu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, to boost rice production.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the firm was working within the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) of the Federal Government.

It is  also working with Blending Plants, under the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN) to contribute to the PFI objectives, of providing access to locally produced NPK 20:10:10 fertiliser for smallholder farmers.

Mr Isaac Odey, Business Development Officer of the firm in Nigeria, at the launching of the distribution on Friday in Lafiagi, said the intervention was to support the Federal and State Governments’ efforts in ensuring food security in the country.

For his part, Mr Adisa Logun, the Chief of Staff to the State Governor, said the distribution of the subsidised fertiliser in Kwara, would enable the state to regain its lost glory in rice production and attain food security.

“We are giving our farmers the necessary support to make the state among farming states that are feeding the nation.

“Kwara happened to be the first place to produce rice in Northern Nigeria in those days. So, we are bringing back the glory in rice production.

“You can see the path the governor and the government have been taking since we came in.

“It is all about service to the people. In Edu, their main occupation is farming, so we  are giving them the facilities needed to ease their farming activities.

“We have given our farmers tractors, now we are supporting them through OCP Africa, with subsidised fertiliser and by next year, we will double what we are giving them this year,” Logun said.

He appealed to the farmers not to resell the fertiliser, but utilise them for intended purposes to boost their yields, this farming season.

The Chief of Staff  further charged the OCP Africa to move its production to the state, in a bid to make more impacts on the lives of the farmers, through improved yields and other agronomic practices.

In his speech, the Technical Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Abdulquawiy Olododo, welcomed the gesture being extended to the State Government by OCP Africa, under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative.

“This programme will be reaching out to 3,000 farmers in Edu LGA. Each of the subsidised fertiliser will be sold at the rate of N4,500 per bag to our farmers.

“Each farmer is entitled to two bags of fertiliser, NPK 20-10-10, to ensure food security in the state.

“Farming is in phases and it is all about value chains. We have assisted farmers with tractors for land preparation and now we are moving to input.

“One of the ways to ensure that farmers do not sell the items we are giving them, is the introduction of technology.

“OCP Africa has engaged some extension officers, who will be monitoring every farmer benefitting from the fertiliser intervention, through their platform called ‘Udongo’,” Olododo said.

According to him, OCP Africa, has been working in 10 states before now, adding that Kwara happens to be the 11th.

”When we came in, we were looking for ways to secure various interventions and we approached OCP Africa to assist our farmers in the state with subsidised fertiliser,” he added.

One of the farmers who spoke to newsmen in Lafiagi, Aliyu Mayaiki, commended the State Government for the intervention and solicited for more support to improve their yields.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu

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OCP Africa begins distribution of fertiliser to farmers in Kwara

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