Food Security

FERTILIZER POLICY HAS REDUCED PRICE FROM N13,000 TO N5,500, VP CLAIMS

Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo has said fertilizer blending programme in collaboration with Morocco has led to establishment of 11 blending plants with a capacity of 2.1 million and a price drop from N13,000 per 50kg bag to N5,500.

He disclosed this while delivering a convocation lecture at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) recently.

He added that agriculture had become a major success story with increasing budgetary allocations to the sector from N8.8 billion in 2015 to N46.2 billion in 2016 and N103.8 billion in 2018, claiming that it grew by 14.27% in 2018.

Osinbajo equally claimed that through the Anchor Borrowers’ programme, credit facilities worth N120.6 billion had been given to 720,000 small-holder farms cultivating 12 commodities, including rice, wheat, cotton, soya beans, cassava, poultry and groundnuts across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“The anchor Borrowers’ Programme is now digitized. With all farmlands GPRS mapped, bio-metric data of farmers captured, electronic cards issued and specific inputs are required.  This has enhanced traceability and enhanced productivity and yield,” he said.

The vice-president said “but for a few drawbacks, we are confidently approaching self-sufficiency in rice production,” saying, “From importing $5 million dollars of rice daily, official imports are down to 2%.”

Osinbajo claimed that the next level in the agricultural sector would be extending agricultural credits more extensively, “especially to farmers in the south.”

Other projects, he said, would include construction of more dams to strengthen irrigation practices, saying 13 more dams would be completed by 2020 in addition to already completed seven.

“The work with sub-national governments to provide access roads to farms for easy conveyance of products and inputs between markets and the farm will continue,” Osinbajo said.

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