No fewer than five million farmers have registered for fertilizer subsidy in Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, has said.
Muhammad Nanono, who today, Decemer 7, at a Consultative Meeting on Restructuring of Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) for Sustainability in Abuja , said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had registered and developed the database targeting smallholder farmers for the fertilizer subsidy support.
He said that the meeting was organised to critically examine the proposed option to evolve the best strategy to reach the smallholder farmers with the subsidy support, adding that the meeting with relevant stakeholders on the development of template for the administration of subsidy to the smallholder farmers on sustainable basis was organized jointly by his ministry and Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
He said that the primary concern of government was to get majority of the smallholder farmers out of extreme poverty through targeted support to increase their level of productivity.
“We are all aware of the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in promoting local production of fertilizer in the country in order to ensure easy access by farmers.
“This was made possible by the establishment of the President Fertilizer Initiative.
“However, Mr President has restructured the PFI with a view to repositioning it for long term sustainability and greater impact.
“In order to support the teeming smallholder farmers, Mr. President approved that, an implementation template be developed through consultative engagement with the relevant stakeholders.”
This was even as the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed,
said that the meeting would be guided by fundamental changes upon which sustainability would be built.
Zainab Ahmed said that the role of NAIC-NPK would be restricted to the importation of the raw materials, monitoring activities and provision of cost basis for government to pay subsidies as for vulnerable smallholder farmers.
She said that all blending plants were to handle their logistics, recover their production cost and profits through the sale of their products in the market.
The Minister was represented by Mallam Aliyu Ahmed, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Dr. Andrew Kwasari, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, said that one of the objectives of the nation’s fertilizer strategy was to create sufficient supply of safe, high quality crops and price competitive fertilizer.
Kwasari said another strategy was to ensure expanded access to such fertilizer supply to all via commercial channels.