Providing guarantees for farmers output will extend gains of Presidential Fertilizer Initiative – Engr. Kanti

The Chairman of Federal Superphosphate Fertilizer Company, Kaduna, Engr. Abullahi Kanti Mohammed has called on the various tiers of government in Nigeria to provide strong and reassuring guarantees to cover the volume of crops produced by registered farmers in the country as a sure means of making the most gains out of the current Presidential Fertilizer Initiative of the Federal Government.
Engr Kanti said such a guarantee has become necessary following records of improved crop production as a result of the successful PFI programme that has enabled farmers to access fertilizers early in the planting season and at affordable prices.
Kanti, who made this known in a statement in Kaduna over the weekend, feared that farmers may soon begin to face a fresh wave of challenge bordering on lack of off-takers for their output and believes that by providing a government guarantee against this, farmers will better concentrate on growing output and not worry about the consequences of a growing inventory.
“The Federal Government has correctly fixed the problem of fertilizer production and distribution in Nigeria and the complaints by farmers of lack of inputs appears to have been permanently solved. But I foresee a bigger future challenge, which is how to secure the farmers increased output to enable him concentrate on production and not worry about marketing and his mounting inventory. What I want the government to do, in addition to what we have seen so far in the PFI programme is for there to be a mechanism through which whatever the farmer grows are purchased by the government. Believe you me, if you do that, farmers’ output per year will continue to double and even triple in some cases. As it is now, most farmers, after a year of bountiful harvest, would find it difficult to sell their products at a price that are reasonable,” he stated.
He advised the Federal Government not to rest on the gains already recorded through the PFI programme, but to constantly continue to evaluate its impacts as a means of identifying potential challenges and opportunities with a view to solving them as quickly as they arise.
Reminding the government of how farming was becoming a lot more attractive following the availability of affordable high quality multi-nutrient fertilizer blends in Nigeria, he pleaded for efforts to be put in place to avoid a possible future situation where people who were attracted to farming as a result of the PFI programme would begin to face frustrations when they begin to find it hard to reduce their inventory.
“Government has a critical role to play here. I have heard people talking about the return of the Commodity Boards and I think that will be a welcome development. But we must ensure this is given the right political leverage as an insurance for continued increase in productivity by Nigerian farmers,” he said.

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