….Begins training of 10,000 farmers on soil types, nutrients
From: Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As the Federal Government intensifies efforts towards economy diversification, OCP Africa has commenced training of 10,000 smallholding farmers in 12 pilot local government areas of Kaduna State soil analysis opportunities and soil specific fertilizer recommendation for improved productivity.
The development is a farmers-centred business development model aimed at supporting farmers to have knowledge of their soil types, nutrients availability, deficiencies and requirements that will help them imbibe the need for scientific methods and commercial mindset towards their farming enterprises.
At the launch of the project at Bakin-Gada Ligari, a suburb of Kaduna, on Wednesday, Country Manager, OCP Africa, Mr. Caleb Usoh, was optimistic that, the launch of the mobile Lab would improve farming thus bring value to Nigerian growing population.
To Caleb, “this initiative is a farmers-centred business development model aimed at supporting farmers to have knowledge of their soil types, nutrients availability, deficiencies and requirements that will help them imbibe the need for scientific methods and commercial mindset towards their farming enterprises.”
On what gave him the assurance that the programme will not fail like several others he said, “OCP is one of the leading companies in the production and exportation of phosphate based fertilizers, phosphoric acid and other phosphate derivative and nutrient additives for plant and animal health with proven integrity.
The country manager further noted that, Nigeria being the economic giant of Africa, is the foremost of the twelve African countries in which OCP Africa has established its presence, with a fully incorporated subsidiary, dedicated to transforming Nigerian smallholder farming enterprises to a modern, more productive and sustainable model.
“In keeping with OCP Africa vision of transforming agriculture in our continent, we articulated the ‘OCP SCHOOL LAB’ as a tool to unlock potential inherent in agriculture by providing smallholding farmers with extensive soil nutrient information and education aimed at directing the minds of farmers towards technology driven farming practices for enhanced productivity”, he said.
In an address, Acting Genaral Manager, Kaduna Agricultural Development Agency (KADA), Daudu Ashafa, who lauded the project in Kaduna described the relationship between Kaduna state government and OCP Africa as a permanent one that would bring succor to the farmers in the State.
“With what I have seeing here today, this is not just a launch of a Lab but, also a learning process and that is why I said that the relationship is permanent one,” Ashafa said.
He then maintained that green pasture for farming activities is in Africa and that Nigeria is not an exception to that virtue, calling on the farmers to make use of the opportunities offered to them by OCP Africa in transforming the agricultural sector in Nigeria as well as better their lot and that of their families.