OCP Africa, a leading global provider of phosphate-based fertilizers, is offering an inclusive end-to-end value chain solution across key agricultural belts in Nigeria as the 2020 farming season commences, which is intended to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on food security in the country.
While speaking on the initiative, Akintunde Akinwande, business development manager for OCP Africa Nigeria said the initiative “allows sharing of efforts and feeds from each partner’s experiences.”
Launched in 2017, the initiative tagged Agribooster, empowers smallholder farmers by connecting them to financial services, markets, and training opportunities with extension services on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and critical farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizer and insecticide.
Following the success of the past 3 years, Mr Akinwande narrated that OCP Africa is planning to extend its scope in 2020 to cover 75,000 smallholder farmers.
In 2019 intervention, OCP Africa Nigeria partnered with Thrive Agric Limited, ABU Microfinance Bank and Palm Valley Nigeria Limited to supply high-quality fertilizer, seeds, chemicals and extension services to over 15,000 maize, rice and soybean farmers in the states of Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Kano and Kebbi.
Under the initiative, loans were provided to registered farmers so they could buy quality inputs. A guaranteed market was also made available for their outputs after harvest.
Akinwande explained that the scheme also equipped about 30 agents with motorcycles and tablets so they could work with farmers to ensure GAP training cascaded down through “training of trainers” (ToT) approach.
Representing Thrive Agric, co-founder Ayo Arikawe said, “We at Thrive Agric are very happy with the Agribooster project because a lack of access to quality product is now a thing of the past.”
Oluwafunmilola Alabi, dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, at Ahmadu Bello University, said, “The Agribooster project opened up opportunities for the faculty students as regards entrepreneurship, business and extension services.”