Alhaji Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has allayed fears that the impact of the Coronavirus disease will lead to scarcity of fertiliser for farmers as the rains set in.
Nanono made this known when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship programme, NAN Forum in Abuja.
He said while there was no doubt that importation of fertiliser would be affected, he assured that there were enough locally produced fertilisers to serve farmers.
He said fertiliser companies, which were already springing out across the country producing organic fertiliser and other varieties, could conveniently meet the needs of farmers.
“There is no doubt that the coronavirus disease will impact the import and export of goods and services.
“We import some essential items like agricultural equipment, consumables like milk and wheat as well as inputs like chemicals and fertilisers and they will definitely be affected in this regard.
“In terms of fertiliser, there are companies in some parts of the country and more are coming up.
“For instance, we have two factories in Kaduna, some in Lagos and a host of other states and we can use those ones as a substitute for the time being.
“We also have local production of urea which is the main components of NPK.
“We have Notore and it is producing very good fertiliser. We have Indorama and now Dangote is going to commission its fertiliser company.
“So with all these, we will not be in a very dire situation in terms of fertiliser. It may be a bit expensive but I think we should be able to manage it,” he said.
On provision of subsidy to cut down cost, the minister said the Federal Government had been subsidising fertiliser, assuring that it would continue to do that.
“In view of this new development, the government will probably try to see how best it can reduce the impact on farmers.”
Nanono pointed out that the latest development would afford Nigeria the opportunity to look inward to boost the production of fertiliser.
He added that when achieved, it would drastically reduce importation, moving forward.
“Right now the import of fertiliser has been drastically reduced. Though it has been a bit expensive I think the farmers are managing it.’’
Nanono expressed optimism that the coronavirus disease would be brought under control to allow people go about their daily routine as they should.