NIGERIA – OCP Africa, a subsidiary of leading global provider of phosphate and its derivatives in the region, OCP Group, is investing US$13m in the establishment of an Agricultural Centre of Excellence in Sokoto State, Northern Nigeria.
According to reports by This Day, the facility will comprise of a fertilizer blending plant and a training center for farmers, fertilizer blenders and other stake holders in the agricultural value chain.
Having a production capacity of 200,000 MT per annum, the blending plant is expected to become operational in July 2021.
It has the capability to blend NPK with micronutrients and will leverage on Sokoto State’s large deposits of high-quality phosphate.
The state government has reiterated its support to the investments by availing 10 hectares of land at Kalambaina industrial layout for the development of the facility.
“Farmers are known to apply any available fertilizer to all plants but with the proliferation of modern blending plants in the country, specific fertilizer based on soil and plant needs can be made available.”Sokoto State Governor – Aminu Tambuwal
Once complete, it will provide direct jobs to 75 persons and contribute significantly towards the achievement of the food security goals of the country.
“Farmers are known to apply any available fertilizer to all plants but with the proliferation of modern blending plants in the country, specific fertilizer based on soil and plant needs can be made available,” said Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
According to the Deputy Managing Director of OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Ltd, Caleb Usoh, establishment of the plant goes a long way in strengthening and expanding the relationship between the company, the government and people of Sokoto.
Other initiatives done in the state by OCP included the setting up of five one-stop shops in Wurno, Goronyo, Tambuwal, IIIelah and Kware to enhance accessibility of inputs to farmers across the state.
This is in addition to the COVID-19 Palliative Project where 8,453 farmers gained access to training and subsidised fertilizers, the deployment of OCP School Lab Project; an innovative program aimed at increasing the yields and income of smallholder farmers through Mobile soil testing and effective agronomical trainings.
The company had also empowered 13 Agripromoters with Motorbike/Tricycles and Electronic tablets to provide extension services across the state.
Meanwhile, the Dangote Group has announced that its US$2 billion granulated urea fertilizer plant which is located at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos state, will start operations before the end of December.
This disclosure was made by the Group Head, Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mr. Anthony Chiejina, in his statement, said, “The granulated Urea fertilizer plant project will be ready for take-off before the end of December. The pre-testing has already been done and the delay in starting operations was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The take-off of the fertilizer plant, which is reputed to be the largest in the world, with its 3 million tonnes per annum capacity, had suffered some setbacks with the opening date leading to its postponement a few times.
The company had projected that the plant would begin operations in May 2020.
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