Fertiliser company, OCP Africa, a subsidiary of the OCP Group, has disclosed its plan to train 50, 000 small-scale farmers in Nigeria on good agricultural practices (GAP).
GAP is a certification system in agriculture that specifies how to produce and process foods using healthy and sustainable methods.
OCP Africa also said that it would set aside a total of N50, 000 million worth of subsidies to be given as palliatives to farmers.
It said these would be part of its efforts to contribute towards the fight against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
States selected to benefit from the palliatives are Abia, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Sokoto, Bauchi and Kwara.
Deputy Managing Director of the firm, Caleb Usoh, made the closure on Tuesday during a ceremony organised by the Federal Government to flag-off the distribution of subsidised fertilisers to selected vulnerable farmers.
Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, presided over the ceremony which took place at Karshi Market in Karshi, Abuja.
Usoh explained that the firm would execute the support scheme through its thirty-one outlets spread across several states in Nigeria.
The support, he further explained, would grant farmers access to buy the Presidential Fertiliser Initiatives’ NPK 20:10:10 fertilisers at a subsidised retail price of N4,500/bag. Usoh, who is also the Country Manager of OCP Africa, noted that the firm would bear the cost of logistics for transporting, warehousing and distributing the inputs to beneficiary farmers.
On the training, he noted that the firm would engage farmers on GAP in growing crops local to specific regions. He explained, “OCP Africa has engaged qualified training facilitators and has recruited, equipped and engaged over 90 Extension Service Agents (Agripromoters) to support training and extension.
“OCP Nigeria has also purchased over 60 motorcycles to aid mobility, 25 cargo tricycles to aid redistribution and 100 electronic tablets to aid data gathering and learning for the recruited extension agents.”