PFI delivered 30m bags fertiliser to Nigerian farmers in 5yrs


Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI), has delivered over 30 million 50kg bags of NPK fertiliser to Nigerian farmers from 2017 to 2021.

Spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Friday, in Abuja, said the Vice-president inaugurated the Pandagric Novum Farms, an integrated feed and food manufacturing company in Panda community, Karu LGA, Nasarawa State.

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), and Signature Agri-Investments are the major investors in the project.

The Vice-president was quoted as saying that President Muhmmadu Buhari enlisted NSIA as the project implementing entity of PFI, which was restructured in 2022.

He said the Federal Government will continue to create the enabling environment to encourage more private sector investments in the agricultural sector, and called for more private sector investments in the agricultural sector.

Osinbajo said the project’s inauguration was a foretaste of many possibilities and opportunities for investments, in agriculture and other sectors in the country.

He said: “What you see today confirms that there is opportunity in Nigeria for investments in agriculture.

“While government commits to creating an enabling environment, we will look to the private sector for investments to galvanise growth in the sector.

“We must indeed work together to re-define agriculture for the future in Nigeria.”

It (PFI) had revived over 60 otherwise moribund plants scattered across the country, and created hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

Boosting economic growth

Osinbajo said the Federal Government passionately believed in the role of Nigeria’s agricultural sector as a key driver of job creation and economic growth.

He cited instances in different sub-sectors of the agriculture value chain where the NSIA, as part of its key mandates, had invested in over the last 10 years.

Osinbajo said: “One of these investments is PFI, which was established by Buhari in 2016, to address the problem of cost and availability of fertiliser.

“Over its five-year run (2017 -2021), the programme had delivered over 30 million 50kg bags of NPK 20:10:10 fertiliser to Nigerian farmers and resuscitated the fertiliser blending industry.

“It had revived over 60 otherwise moribund plants scattered across the country, created hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

It had also enabled the government to conserve foreign exchange by import substitution amounting to over $100 million.

“With the sector now reactivated, the NSIA’s role in the fertiliser value chain has moved upstream.”

Osinbajo also highlighted the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN) which was established by the NSIA in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the KfW (a development bank).

The Vice-president said in 2018, the NSIA invested $5 million in Babban Gona – a high impact, scalable agricultural franchise.

He said Babban Gona sought to sustainably improve the lives of smallholder farmers through the provision of credit, inputs, training in good agricultural practices, harvesting and storage services, and marketing services.

The Vice-president said to address unemployment, local production growth and food security in particular areas of the country, the NSIA made a bold step in 2017.

“In 2017, the NSIAS established an Agriculture Development Fund under a 50:50 joint venture with the Old Mutual Group of South Africa.

“It was done with a commitment of N50 million ($25 million each) towards the development and investment in large-scale agriculture projects, combined with out-grower schemes.

“In 2018, the fund committed $29 million towards the acquisition and two-phased development of the Pandagric Novum Farms.

“It is an animal feed processing business with backward integration through the farming of maize and soybean,” Osinbajo said.

Osinbajo also lauded Pandagric for providing boreholes for all six of its neighbouring communities and developing an out-grower scheme, while providing inputs and training to over 500 small holder farmers.

“It employs almost 800 direct staff and 2,000 indirect staff, making it the largest contributor of PAYE to Nasarawa State; and presently has the largest maize farm across the country,” he said.

Osinbajo commended Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa for the visionary zeal he had deployed in three and a half years to make the state a hub for agricultural investments in Nigeria. (NAN)

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