The OCP Fertilisers Nigeria Limited is set to pump a total sum of $2.350m to develop the country’s agriculture sector in 2019, through its various projects.
Through the projects, which include OCP School Lab, OCP Agribooster, One Stop Shop, and others, the organisation is targeting to reach about 200,000 farmers by expanding its area of operation beyond the northern and central parts of the country.
Managing Director, OCP Fertilisers Nigeria Limited, Muhamed Hettiti, who was speaking at a forum organised by Food and Agricultural Writers Association of Nigeria (FAWON), in Lagos, said the main objective of the school lab and agro booster initiatives, is to ensure that farmers’ adopt correct usage of fertilisers, to increase their productivity and boost their income.
He described the school lab initiative as a mobile laboratory to carry out soil test for farmers to know the right fertilisers, for the right crop and right quantity to apply, and also the right land, adding that the agro booster is meant to enhance farmers’ yield per hectare.
“Said Hettiti: “Most farmers do not even know the right fertiliser to use on their farms, so we decided to introduce the agro booster and the school lab initiative to address this. We have gathered all the stakeholders around the farmers. We have the seed suppliers, the financial banks, fertiliser suppliers and off takers for the farmers under the agro booster initiative.”
The Guardian learnt that over 150,000 farmers are currently benefitting from the organisation’s initiatives, with a plan of increasing the beneficiaries to over 200,000 farmers in 2019.
Production and Technical Manager of the company, Oluwatoba Asana, said it started with 10,000 farmers in 2017, noting that it targeted 70,000 farmers in 2018 and “now we have reached 67,600 farmers in Kaduna, Bauchi and Kano States.
In 2019, we intend to reach 100,000 farmers and extend the initiative to the Southwest region.”
OCP’s Marketing Analyst and CRM Officer, Kazeem Ajape said with the agro booster scheme, the organisation has been able to provide a complete value for farmers.
Her noted that the company is providing farmers with key inputs and also training them on best practices, coupled with off takers that buys their produce directly.