The Executive Secretary of the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Gideon Nagedu has assured farmers that enough fertilizers will be available for them to buy for the current farming season despite Ukraine/Russia war which sparked off price increment in the products.
Nagedu said that NPK fertilizers are available in large quantity, “but the challenge farmers are complaining about now is less availability of Urea and that seems to be a supply gap from the production plants but FEPSAN will try and engage with the relevant stakeholders to resolve this”.
In an interview with Reporters, he added that government is cooperating with the association in ensuring that good quality fertilizers are made available for purchase by farmers.
The leader of fertilizers supply Association however, warned farmers to take precaution because according to him the market is flooded with adulterated products which could subsequently affect the harvest.
“The hike in price apart, the farmers must have good quality fertilizer. That’s why as an association we have worked very closely with government to get what is called the Fertilizer Quality Control Act which has now been signed into law. We pushed and we want that law implemented.
“That law makes it a crime for any fertilizer company or any dealer to sell fake fertilizer. The farmers should know that, it is their right and they must fight for it.
“If you have such cases where it is clear that such fertilizer comes from such company and it turns out to be fake, report to the association.
“But more importantly there are representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture all around the states. FEPSAN is there to make sure no fake fertilizer is sold to any farmer” He stated.
However, he explained that the reason behind the shortage of fertilizer is not unconnected with the global situation necessitated by the COVID-19 lockdown and the current war between Russia and Ukraine.
The Executive secretary explained that “The issue of cost, the price of fertilizer today, without mincing words, we have a big problem across the world. It is not only in Nigeria, the prices of everything has gone up. Even in America, farmers are complaining. Even as America is the richest country in the world, they are complaining that the price is too high. In the UK we are hearing the same complaint.
“The problem is caused mainly by the COVID-19 because when the COVID came in 2019 most companies were closed down. Now that they opened back again the demands are so high that it is affecting their capacity to meet the demand.
“While we are trying to solve that problem, we are now faced with the Russia vs Ukraine war.
“We have four main raw materials in the production of fertilizer. We have Urea, we have DAP, we have potassium and we have filler.
“The Urea we are getting from Nigeria, there is no problem. We are getting from Dangote, we are getting from Indorama and Notore, there is no problem. Except for now that we are having some issues.
“For DAP we are getting it from Morocco, there is no problem with that, potassium is now the problem because we are getting it from Russia. But President Buhari has intervened and we are able to get it and it arrived Nigeria in June, it is at Onne.
“The only problem is the price. The price is high. This is how much we can do. Even what we are getting is at quiet a discount. But with even the discount, the price is high.
“Like I said, the price of everything is high, but in our own case, when the price of fertilizer goes up, it goes up to about 30- 50 percent, this is the first time it is going up to 300 percent, it has never happened before. Because you can’t even see it, in the world, not just in Nigeria. This is the problem.
“We still believe that as the crises in Russia is being solved, we will come out of this.
“On its side, government has been trying, we work through the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority to try and see how we can resolve the problem.
“You know there are many costings used in arriving at a price. We have Forex, government is seeing how it will subsidise us in that: we have discount like I have explained: the government is trying to see how it can provide some support through the African Development Bank. I don’t know how far that has gone by now.
“But we focus more on production in our area. Hopefully we believe they will resolve it. Government is providing support in all the areas.
“We want to keep encouraging the farmers. We are together as an association.
“Yes we are doing business to make profit. But this is one of those businesses that we see that we are responsible to our farmers to make sure they have good quality fertilizer”.