OCP Africa on has signed a cooperation agreement with National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) and Institute of Agricultural Research & Training (IART) to develop specialty fertilizers for value chain crops across Nigeria.
Managing Director, OCP Africa, Mr. Mohammed Hettiti while speaking on Wednesday at the signing ceremony in Abuja, stated that Nigeria’s tomato value chain has once again suffered a setback and the supply is way lesser than the demand for tomato which is a staple food in most of Nigeria’s soups and stews due to inadequate production of the crop by farmers.
Mr. Hettiti added that the demand for Nigeria’s palm oil is now on the increase both locally and internationally, however, Nigeria continues continues to spend about $500m annually on the importation of palm oil while consumption is rising at about 2.9% locally, thus, the need for the agreement.
Meanwhile, he assured of equipping Nigerian farmers with knowledge to practice sustainable agriculture through research and development
“OCP Nigeria is acting to bring specific response to Nigerian agriculture challenges and provide impactful and sustainable solutions to Nigerian food systems; our approach is science driven, sustainable and partnership drive”.
“OCP Nigeria aims to equip Nigerian farmers with knowledge and capacity to practice sustainable plant nutrition and reduce nutrient loss by leveraging on research and development”
However, Mr. Hettiti pledged OCP AFRICA’S commitment to support the Federal government initiative to develop agriculture as the “new black gold” of Nigeria.
” Let me reiterate the commitment of OCP AFRICA fertilizer Nigeria to the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and our continued support to the Federal Government of Nigeria in its unwavering desire to develop agriculture as the “new black gold of Nigeria”.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono noted that the Present Administration is keen at ensuring food security in Nigeria with adequate inputs such as fertilizer.
Represented by Alhaji Bashir Abbakassim of the Farm Inputs Support Services Department, Alhaji Nanono added that the input of OCP is timely considering now when the fertilizer sub-sector is moving in the right direction to ensuring that fertilizers are available and accessible to farmers.
“We really thank OCP Nigeria for coming to Nigeria and partnering with us to provide raw materials for us and our blending plants to produce fertilizers for our farmers and help move the Agriculture sub-sector indeed forward”.
Ogunrinde Victoria, Abuja.