The United Kingdom Department for International Development has predicted that Nigeria will produce 10 million tonnes of urea fertilizers in 2018.
This claim was made by the Team Leader of the DFID-funded project, Market Development of the Niger Delta, Dr. Terry Lacey, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent.
He added that his organisation was involved in the improvement of fertilizer and input distribution which would cut across all the crop value chains.
According to him, the country currently consumes less than five per cent of its total fertilizer production.
He said, “Nigeria will in three years command 10 per cent of the world market for urea fertilizer and Rivers State alone will produce 10 million tons of fertilizer by 2018.
“And the country will not be able to distribute 20 per cent of that unless Nigerians become organised.
“What this means is that we are producing urea fertilizer for other people who are better organised than we are because it will be easy to sell somewhere else.
He noted that the lowest consumption of fertilizer was recorded in the Niger Delta region while the North consumed more.
Lacey, whose new strategy is called, “Making market work for the poor,” told our correspondent that the aim of the MADE project was to generate sustainable inclusive economic growth in the non-oil sectors across the Niger Delta states .
He said, “We are going to try and get agriculture to be recognised as something that has potential. We do this by introducing levels of technology that will attract people to the sector.”
He explained that the programme was also aimed at providing incentives and access to finance; building partnerships; aligning poor farmers with richer ones via voluntary clustering to share links to downstream markets; creating synergies between small holders and large estates and plantations and others.
“Our aim is also to improve market access for poor producers, increase economic activity and trade, create jobs and raise incomes of over 150,000 poor people, 50 per cent of who are women,”he added.
Culled from Punch