For Long, Nigerian farmers have been faced with several impediments to obtaining optimal value from their farmlands, ranging from low access to quality inputs, problematic soils, and inadequate training on good agricultural practices; these challenges if not resolved will pose a threat to the nation’s food system.
In addressing the nation’s food security challenges, there is need to discontinue the use of generic fertilizer blends for all soil and crop types. There is no better time than now to introduce soil and crop specific fertilizers. The adoption of specialty fertilizers to address specific crop nutrition needs is an emerging trend in global agriculture practice due to different soil nutrient compositions. OCP Africa, a world leader in phosphate and its derivatives, believes that efficient use of specialty fertilizer is one of the best ways to increase farmers’ productivity and ensure food security.
To provide customized fertilizers in the Nigeria agricultural space, OCP Africa has taken the initiative by pioneering the research & development and production of crop and soil specific blends of fertilizer by establishing ultra-modern fertilizer blending plants in three states across Nigeria (Kaduna, Ogun and Sokoto).
Each of the three ultra-modern blending plants tagged “Centre of Excellence” comprises of a Blending facility capable of composing 5 macro and 5 micro-nutrient elements, a Fertilizer and Soil testing laboratory, a Retail outlet for agricultural products and services called the “Farm and Fortune Hub” and a Model Farm. The blending plants have a combined production capacity of 500,000MT per year. In line with the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in year 2020, OCP Africa has deployed a state-of-the-art laboratory within the blending plant facilities to further ensure quality of its products meets nutrient specification.
Caleb Usoh, the Country Manager and Deputy Managing Director OCP Africa Nigeria disclosed that Ogun and Sokoto plants will commence production by 4th quarter of 2022 while the Kaduna plant which has been completed at the cost of $13.4 million commenced production in March 2022 and is slated for official commissioning by August 2022. The plant currently operates on a Toll Blending partnership arrangement that allows industry players and brand owners to leverage on OCP Africa’s plant capacity and expertise to provide quality fertilizers to their customers. The Kaduna plant currently engages over 250 persons in different job function all to foster a sustainable agricultural ecosystem in Nigeria.
He also added that to further boost local production of fertilizers and enhance export capacity of Nigeria, OCP Africa is investing in a Joint Venture with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to develop an Ammonia and DAP Industrial plant. The $1.4 billion Industrial Plant project, to be cited in Akwa-Ibom is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000MT of ammonia and 1,000,000MT of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025
With the Nigerian consumption of NPK fertilizer blends projected to exceed 4,500,000 MT by the year 2030, OCP Africa is supporting the projected demand with massive investments in fertilizer production, R&D, distribution channel support, farmer-centric initiatives, among others with a view to actualizing the Nigeria vision of ensuring self-sufficiency in food production.