NIGERIA – The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) has awarded a US$1.4 million co-investment grant to OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited, a division of the world’s leading producer of phosphate-based fertilizers, OCP Africa.
The investment will be channelled towards installation of modern blending equipment within OCP Africa’s fertilizer blending plant facility under construction in Kaduna State.
The top-in-class blending equipment will help bridge the gap where there is a paucity of specialized fertilizers to grow crops on a large scale and support food security in the country.
Enhanced with top-of-the-line equipment, the plant will be able to produce 120 metric tons per hour of customized fertilizer blends for various crops such as rice, maize, soybean, cassava, tomato, and other staple crops grown in Nigeria.
It will also be fashioned with a 10,000 metric tons storage capacity.
According to OCP Africa, the specialty blends of fertilizers have the capacity to increase farmers’ yields by 50 to 85 percent per hectare depending on the crop.
It expects at least 75,000 of targeted smallholder farmers within the catchment area of the plant to benefit from the blending plant’s operations and associated agronomy support services.
“The production and distribution of blended fertilizers combined with the training will help farmers produce better quality crops as well as increase their yields, which will lead to higher earnings.”Caleb Usoh – Country Manager for OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited
To ensure that farmers in underserved markets have seamless access to these fertilizers and other quality inputs, OCP Africa will establish 36 of its one-stop-shop Farm & Fortune Hubs across 13 Nigerian states.
As part of its co-investment, OCP Africa will provide the targeted farmers with a wide range of agricultural services, including training on good agricultural practices and soil testing.
“Over the years, farmers in Nigeria have recorded poor farm yields due to the quality of fertilizers and other inputs at their disposal.
“The production and distribution of blended fertilizers combined with the training will help farmers produce better quality crops as well as increase their yields, which will lead to higher earnings and better returns for their farming business,” explained Caleb Usoh, Country Manager for OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited.
Through this co-investment partnership, 826 jobs are expected to be created, including jobs for workers at the new facility, trainers, and those tapped to run the one-stop shops.
Also, in support of the Trade Hub’s goal to ensure that traditionally marginalized groups have equal access to job opportunities in the agricultural sector, at least 50 percent of these jobs will go to women and youth.
The end goal of the project is to foster a thriving agricultural-business ecosystem in Nigeria.
“This project is quite a unique one, and we are excited to partner with OCP Africa to complement the Nigerian government’s policy to leverage locally available resources to expand food production capabilities.
“Such policies contribute significantly toward achieving the food security goals in Nigeria, in line with the USAID Feed the Future initiative,” said Michael Clements, Chief of Party of the Trade Hub.
The Trade Hub has been actively supporting the development of the Nigerian agriculture sector, as it recently awarded a US$500,000 co-investment grant to PYXERA Global, to support the launch of its West Africa Agriculture Resilience Program (WAFARP).
PYXERA is a not-for-profit with extensive experience designing training and capacity-building programs.
The WAFARP program will assist 10,000 farmers cultivating rice, maize, and soybean within Nigeria’s Kebbi, Cross River, and Benue States.
These states are focal areas for the Trade Hub in Nigeria, whose work aligns with and supports the mission of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative.
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