Arc Kabir Ibrahim, National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria( AFAN), has warned about the consequences of high price of fertiliser in the market, calling on federal government to intervene to give farmers access to the product.
Ibrahim recalled that the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, PFI through the sale of 20:10:10 at 5500 in the last four years and 5000 last year due COVID-19 was able to bring some respite to the farmers and to the National Food System.
The PFI assisted AFAN and therefore a large number of Nigerian farmers immensely by making fertilizer available at the subsidized rate of 5000 last year to further cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While we await what will happen this year we are fearful that the fertilizer will not be readily available and affordable as in the last four years due to delays in releasing the new price and the commodity itself.
The prices across the states range between 6700 and 8000 for NPK and 8800 to 13000 for Urea at present.
The AFAN Chairmen in some states cutting across all the geopolitical zones furnished us with these verifiable information.
The farmers in some states in the South East have commenced production in earnest without any subsidy reaching them and fear that by the time the PFI fertilizer arrives it might be too late for any application to their crops.
Nigeria is already experiencing skyrocketing prices of food crops, serious food inflation and this coupled with the skyrocketing prices of fertilizers the situation of food availability and affordability will exacerbate.
The President, Muhammadu Buhari has shown commitment and passion for Agriculture but he is being sabotaged by some people around him who are not adequately working to make Agriculture work properly.
We believe that the PFI if encouraged and allowed to continue its work promptly it will avert the imminent food crises in the entire nation.
The people supporting wavers to be given to some businessmen to import or corner fertilizers are saboteurs and should be dispensed with if Nigeria is to be food sufficient and livable.
The fertilizer subsidy must reach the real practicing farmers to impact Nigerians sustainably and therefore bring succor to the generality of Nigerians.
We think Dangote Fertilizer should be encouraged to bring out its fertilizers promptly and with its known capacity to be able to distribute it across the country it will make fertilizer available like
Coca-Cola to the Nigerian farmers.
This will give the farmers a choice and competitive price.
We call on the President to kindly intervene in this matter to assist the farmers to serve Nigerians better.