Farmers in Kura Local Government Area of Kano State have hailed AgroMaster, a new fertiliser brand believed to have the qualities that help to improve rice production quality.
AgroMaster is manufactured by the Premium Agro Chemicals Limited, a large fertiliser blend company.
Secretary of the Tomato Farmers Association of Nigeria, Sani Abdullahi, on Monday praised the fertiliser for its high quality. Abdullahi’s farm was one of those selected for the trials.
Field trials of the speciality fertiliser were conducted in Gafan, Dakasoye and Wudil in Kano State.
Lead research scientist for the Kano trial, Musa Tukur Yakasai, explained that the trial farm in the state was divided into two, and equal amounts of conventional and AgroMaster’s fertilisers were applied.
“The crop quality and productivity were high in the part where AgroMaster were used, and poor in the part of the conventional fertilisers,” noted Yakasai, a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Kano University of Science and Technology (KUST).
Musbahu Adewale, an official of Premium Agro Chemicals Limited, noted that Agro Master is a slow-release, crop-specific fertiliser.
Adewale explained that when applied once at the beginning of a plating season, the fertiliser continuously releases its nutrients to the soil throughout the crop cycle.
“The idea of producing this fertilizer came up after research confirmed that plants absorb only 33% of the total conventional fertilizer applied; hence losing the remnant to infiltrate the soil and contaminate groundwater,” he noted.
Adewale, who also described the 2019 wet season trial as a success, also noted that AgroMaster’s fertiliser produced a highly significant yield compared to the conventional fertilisers.
“We are helping farmers by joining the rice revolution to increase the yields so that farmers will see more output than input, and also reduce the quantity of fertiliser applied to minimise the cost of production,” he said.
However, another scientist in the project, Prof. Yusuf Bala Daraja, disclosed that his ongoing research seeks to develop techniques for rice production intensification. Daraja, who is also the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at KUST, noted that his research seeks to understand how rice seedlings can be improved to produce an average of 8-10 tonnes.
The don pointed out that the current production rate of rice was 2-3 tonnes per hectare.
Meanwhile, the Head of Agricultural Economics and Extension Department at KUST, Dr Ahmad Shu’aibu, on his part stressed the need for mechanization in both agricultural production and processing.
“Farmers lose a huge amount of their produce due to the lack of mechanization. It is unfortunate to harvest three tonnes of rice and end up with only two tonnes at the end of the day,” Shu’aibu said. In his remarks, District Head of Kura Local Government Area, Alhaji Abubakar Tijjani Abubakar expressed satisfaction with the choice of Kura as the site of the trial.
“When it comes to rice farming, Kura Local Government Area is the largest producer across Nigeria.
“I urge farmers to embrace this transition for speedy growth and greater harvest,” Abubakar said.