The Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM) initiative has earmarked $2.2m as fertiliser subsidy for Nigerian farmers, as it projects 200,000 smallholder farmers as beneficiaries.
The project is a collaborative effort of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and is aimed at enhancing pan-African agricultural productivity by promoting the use of fertilisers.
An estimated 142 beneficiaries, including fertiliser suppliers, agro-dealers and retailers have been captured into the fertiliser financing scheme across West Africa and will be provided with credit facilities to enhance distribution.
According to AFAP representative, Nana-Aisha Mohammed, government agencies, international organisations and key players in the fertiliser value chain will collaborate in ensuring the seamless distribution of fertilisers to the 200,000 farmers.
“We will leverage existing networks and look for creative solutions to increase the availability of fertiliser in the country,” she added.
Speaking on the intervention fund, the Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Umar Musa, stated that the project will upscale the productivity of farmers in the country, via the provision of unrestricted access to fertilisers.
According to Musa, the project “will support smallholder farmers and improve their productivity in order to help the country increase its local production and consumption of fertiliser.”
As the farming season approaches, this subsidy is projected to ensure that fertilisers get to the farmers and guarantee increased food production and sufficiency in the country.
AFFM Coordinator, Marie Claire Kalihangabo, like Musa, expressed optimism for the success of the project.
“We are confident that the project will increase access to quality and affordable fertilizer by smallholder farmers and hence contribute to the transformation of the agriculture sector in Nigeria,” she said.