Investors Commit $4.5bn To Fertiliser ProductionInvestments in the production of fertiliser in Nigeria by foreign and indigenous investors in the last two years have grown to about $4.5bn (N1.373tn) despite the constraint in accessing the United States dollars, the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnerships has said.
The AFAP, an independent non-profit organisation created by a partnership of African development agencies, disclosed this at the Nigeria Fertiliser Roadmap Stakeholders’ Consultation in Abuja on Monday.
The four-day forum, which ended on Monday, had in attendance senior officials of the Presidency, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Deposit Money Banks, microfinance banks, multinational fertiliser production companies and international finance organisations, among others.
In his welcome address, which was made available to our correspondent, the President/Chief Executive Officer, AFAP, Mr. Jason Scarpone, described the growth in the fertiliser sub-sector of Nigeria’s agricultural value chain as an economic potential that had the capacity to reduce importation of food by the country.
Although he noted that fertiliser utilisation in Nigeria was still inadequate and significantly lower than what was obtainable in Kenya, the AFAP boss, however, stated that “in the midst of these challenges lies opportunities.
He added, “For despite the fall in oil prices, declining foreign exchange reserves and constrained availability of foreign currency in the last two to three years, the fertiliser sub-sector in Nigeria has attracted significant investments of about $4.5bn from the private sector.
“Notable among these investors include but not limited to Notore, Indorama and Dangote. Their respective investments have been the largest ever in the Nigerian agriculture sector.”
Scarpone noted that investments in the agricultural sector in the country remained a beacon of hope for the transformation of millions of rural communities and in stimulating broader economic growth.
“It is against the above background that, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AFAP commissioned a study of the impediments that constrain fertiliser market development in Nigeria with a view to developing strategies to address such constraints,” he added.
AFAP Consultant, Scott Wallace, told journalists that aside reviewing fertiliser impediments identified by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, another objective of the meeting was “to solicit inputs from public and private stakeholders as means towards possible solutions to attend to the impediments.”