To reduce dependence on imports and encourage the domestic fertiliser sector, the Federal Government has reiterated support for organic fertiliser based on its high demand and importance to agriculture productivity.
Minister of State, Industry Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar stated this at the official lunch of Eco-Clean Organic fertiliser (Sapropel-based) in Abuja.
Hajiya Abubakar, who was represented by Deputy Director (DD), supervisory division, Dr. Francis Alaneme, said the ministry was mandated to ensure that more investors go into organic fertiliser production for the purpose of meeting the big gap of fertiliser application standards as recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
He said this system would not only improve soil fertility, water infiltration, but also discourage use of fertiliser and pesticides and reduce environmental pollution, adding that the government has taken various measures for encouraging farmers towards bio-fertiliser usage.
“The ministry is engaged in sourcing for investors in organic fertiliser to fill the existing gap in the low quantity of fertiliser usage in Nigeria by FOA standard of 200kg per hectare. Nigeria is still at 15kg-20kg per hectare. This gap needs to be filled by organic fertiliser,’’she said.
She said the ministry was formulating a national industrial fertiliser production policy with prominent position for organic fertiliser in view of its potential in terms of value addition to agricultural produce and soil nutrients. She stressed that national production policy on organic fertiliser must be integrated into agricultural production for acceptable local consumption and export.
The ministry’s mandate to industrialise the nation with value added food processing, she added, was in line with Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration., adding that government has approved the adoption and usage of eco-clean organic fertiliser product after satisfying all necessary soil laboratory tests for local application.
Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association Nigeria (FACAN) National Secretary, Dr Dogondaji expressed farmers’ happiness to finally have this product officially launched, pointing out that the feedback from the associations’ members was quite impressive with high acceptability after usage.
He advised that the company producing the product should prepare to meet the need of farmers in terms of ensuring adequate supply during planting seasons of the year.