Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
In a bid to develop soil nutrients map and fertilizer formulations for oil palm and tomato production in Nigeria, the OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited has signed an agreement with the National Institute for Horticultural Research (NIHORT), the National Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) and the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T)
The collaboration, the group stated, was to support site and crop specific fertilizer formulation to enhance soil fertility status and improve farmers’ productivity.
Speaking during the cooperation agreement signing ceremony in Abuja, the Managing Director of OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited, Mohamed Hetiti, cited a report, published by PwC in 2019, to have stated that the demand for Nigeria’s palm oil was now on the increase both locally and internationally, even though the country continues to spend about $500 million annually on the importation of palm oil, while consumption was rising at about 2.9 per cent locally.
Hetiti, said it was imperative for Nigeria to produce more palm oil and stem the outflow of forex.
He opined that it should also be of note that Nigeria’s tomato value chain has once again suffered a setback and the supply was way less than the demand for tomato.
He said in order to close the gap, the OCP Nigeria and its partners at NIHORT, NIFOR and IART, came together to sign an agreement to develop specialty fertilizers for value chain crops across Nigeria.
“These important issues, the cooperation agreement being signed is the cumulative result of a lot of hard work, research and several coordinated efforts between our partners.
“We would continue to work together with our local partners,” he added.
He, therefore, commended the federal government for giving OCP Nigeria the opportunity to contribute to the growth of agriculture in Nigeria.
OCP Nigeria aims to bring specific response to Nigeria’s agriculture challenges and provide impactful and sustainable solutions to Nigerian food systems and it is sustainable and partnership driven.
He further said OCP Nigeria aims to equip Nigerian farmers with knowledge and capacity to practice sustainable plant nutrition and reduce nutrient loss by leveraging on research and development.