Top global producer and exporter of phosphate-based fertilizers, OCP, has disclosed that it is set to support 75,000 farmers through an initiative tagged Agribooster following the success of the scheme in the past three years. This intervention which would be launched soon would give farmers access subsidized bags of fertilizers provided by OCP Africa under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.
Launched in 2017, Agribooster supports smallholder farmers to get access to good quality farm inputs, financial services, markets, and training with extension services centered on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) while improving the yield and productivity of the farmer.
This scheme is now being boosted across key Agric-belts in Nigeria as the 2020 farming season commences and is intended to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s food security while offering farmers and agriculture practitioners an inclusive end-to-end value chain solution that brings about a boost for farmers’ produces and revenues.
“This initiative allows sharing of efforts and feeds from each partner’s experiences. Following the decline in agricultural production in Nigeria, we are pleased to have programs like this which are fashioned towards helping smallholder farmers, and empowerment of young extension agents to fight insufficiency and insecurity of both food and cash crops.” Business Development Manager for OCP Africa Nigeria, Mr. Akintunde Akinwande stated.
Akinwande also explained that the organization, through the initiaive has trained and equipped about 30 last-mile agents and provided them with motorcycles and tablets to work directly with farmers and ensure that quality practical GAP training is cascaded down through the Training of Trainers (ToT) approach.The agents also perform entrepreneurial functions in retail sales of quality inputs to farmers within their environment.
Farmers will also through this initiative benefit from GAP training, digital technology support and market linkages all provided as an incentive and a booster bundle under OCP Africa’s Covid-19 initiative.They will also be able to access NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer at a subsidized retail price.
Through the scheme,Loans were provided to registered farmers to buy quality inputs and a guaranteed market was also available for farmers’ output after harvest. Maize farmers under the scheme made returns on their investments of up to 84percent as a result of an average yield of 3.4MT. Financial institutions involved also recorded loan recoveries above 86percent which is very commendable when compared to other schemes they have been involved in. All of these attest to the success of the scheme.