The Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, PFI, is to deliver four million bags of 50kg Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium, NPK fertilisers to farmers at an affordable price, by December.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.
The statement, signed by Atta Esah, Deputy Director (Information), State House, said Mr Shehu spoke at an audience participation programme on FRCN Kaduna, entitled: “Hannu Da Yawa”.
According to Mr Shehu, the projected delivery of the commodity by December is in addition to the six million bags of 50kg fertilisers already sold to farmers since the Initiative commenced early this year.
“The problem of the shortage of fertilisers and its attendant high cost plaguing the nation’s agricultural production, seemingly intractable for decades, have been resolved following the successful execution of the mandate of the PFI.
“Since the implementation of the Initiative, the six million 50kg bags of NPK fertilisers were purchased by State Governments and agro-dealers across the country,’’ he said.
The presidential aide also revealed that the 11 fertiliser blending plants in the country would be increased to 18 by the end of the year, adding that this would in turn provide direct employment to no fewer than 50,000 Nigerians.
He noted that the production of locally-blended fertilisers had saved the Federal Government about 150 million dollars this year, hitherto spent on foreign exchange; and N60 billion in budgetary provisions for fertiliser subsidy.
He added that the successful implementation of the PFI had made fertilisers available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and in time for the 2017 wet season farming.
“Last year, Daily Trust newspaper reported that a bag of 50kg NPK fertiliser was sold at N10, 900 in Benue.
“Today the same commodity is being sold at about N6, 500 in different locations across the country, while the government-approved price is N5, 500.
Quoting the same newspaper report, Mr Shehu noted that a bag of maize which was sold at N21,000 last year is currently being sold at an average of N10,000.
According to him, this is an indication that the Initiative has enhanced food security as a result of the increase in food production.
“There is also a reduction in food-induced inflation while economic activities across the agriculture value chain are very impressive,” he further noted.
It would be recalled that the Fertilisers Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, FEPSAN, had in August embarked on a tour of fertiliser blending plants to ascertain to level of production compliance and availability of the product nationwide.
The PFI is partnering FEPSAN to ensure farmers get fertilisers at an affordable price.