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Agric Ministry Advocates Local Production Of Organic Fertilizer, Sensitize Farmers On National Fertilizer Quality Control Act

In a bid to sustain the growth of the Agricultural sector, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has advocated for the use and local production of organic fertilizers to enhance production, improve soil conditions, extend shelf-life of organic produce amongst others.

This advocacy came during a training workshop on Zonal Promotion of Organic Fertilizer and Use at the local level, using Eco-friendly Agricultural Technologies organized by the Department of Farm Inputs Support Services at Agric. Show Ground, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, recently.

In his speech, the Director, Mr. Muhammad Kwaido represented by the Assistant Director, Organic Fertilizer Quality Control, Mrs. Afusatu Babalola stated that the programme would provide an ample opportunity for increased advocacy for the use /adoption of organic fertilizer in Nigeria and to halt the current rejection of Nigerian produce in the International markets.

In his words, “Nigerian farmers i believe are well prepared to adopt the use of organic fertilizers as the country is blessed with abundant raw materials such as plant residues, poultry, livestock waste, biogas residue and agricultural by-products that are readily available locally”.

“The Increasing consumer demand for organic produce locally has also indicated that the sector has high growth potential. As you may be aware, presently most of the organic products on sale across the country are imported from overseas which needed to be bridged to generate wealth and employment particularly among the youth” the Director added.

He pointed out that the Russian-Ukraine conflict, importation of inorganic raw materials such as Muriate of Potash (MOP) and difficulty in accessing foreign exchange made it necessary to look inward and pay attention to the local preparation of these Organic fertilizers.

Speaking further, the Director revealed the benefits of adopting the use of locally made organic formulations, which would invariably reduce the cost of purchasing fertilizers, improve soil fertility, improve general livelihood of farmers amongst others. 

In his presentation, the Head, National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI) Nyanya Sub-station, Dr. Innocent Onyekwere highlighted the objectives of promoting Organic Fertilizer Production and its uses at the local levels using eco-friendly agricultural technologies.

One of the participants at the Workshop, a small holder farmer, Mrs. Aishatu Gunde thanked the Ministry for the initiative and enlightenment workshop, expressed delight for being part of training workshop.

According to her, “I have gained knowledge on how to prepare local organic fertilizer and its benefits instead of using the chemical fertilizer”.
In a similar vein, the Department of Farm Inputs Support Services also sensitized farmers on the provision of the National fertilizer Quality Control (NFQC) Act.

The Director, FISS, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Inputs use and National Agriculture Growth Scheme, Ishaku Buba, revealed that the Fertilizer Act and the Regulations contained provisions to address any abnormality that could be perpetrated by any player operating in the Fertilizer sub-sector.

He pointed out that the Ministry had created a platform for farmers to know the status of input producers and the distributors, the quality status of the products they are producing and marketing, the means of identifying fake or substandard products, complain mechanism in place to report observed abnormalities and seek redress and compensation for substandard products purchased.

In attendance were the representative of the Nasarawa State Coordinator, FMARD, Head of River Rice Farmers Association, Head of Maize Association of Nigeria amongst others.
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