The Federal Government of Nigeria on Friday said it saved ₦25 billion from fertilizer distribution policy in 2012 by directly supplying the commodity to farmers.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said that the approach has eliminated middlemen and the massive corruption associated with the fertilizer distribution chain nationwide, the direct supply is part of the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) introduced by the Federal Government, 10 million farmers had been registered under GES, adding that 1.5 million smallholder farmers received subsidized fertilizer and seeds, using their mobile telephones in 2012. In a paper he presented at the 9th All Nigerian Conference of Editors programme organized by Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) held in Asaba.
Dr. Adesina said the reform in the fertilizer and seed sub-sector had attracted the private sector, with the number of local companies involved in seed production growing from 11 in 2011 to 70 in 2012. “So far in 2013, more than 3.4 million farmers have received their subsidized inputs via the GES programme and electronic wallet scheme, and we expect to reach close to 5 million farmers by the end of the dry season,” he said.
He announced that Syngenta, the world’s leading seed company, had established a plant in the country to develop and commercialize high-yielding seeds for farmers, the existing fertilizer companies in the country were setting up their own supply networks to reach the farmers directly. The Dangote Group had also invested about ₦542.5 billion in fertilizer production in the country. He added that two foreign companies, Indorama and Mitsibushi, had concluded arrangements with the Federal Government to invest 1.3 billion dollars (about ₦232.5billion) each, in the establishment of fertilizer plants in Nigeria.