Despite Huge Fertiliser Investment, Rice Farmers Lament Scarcity
Billions of naira have been invested in fertilizer production by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over the past three years.
There was the investment powered by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA; there was the Eleme Indorama fertilizer plant inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo this time last year, and the partnership between the Moroccan government and Nigeria to boost production.
Yet, rice farmers in Kebbi State cannot find fertilizer to grow their produce.
Now, the rice farmers have been complaining over their inability to secure fertilizers for the rainy season, saying the shortage of the product will hamper their output.
A prominent rice farmer along the Dikku Road, Birnin-Kebbi, Alhaji Ibrahim Guluma, while speaking with Punch on the plight of the farmers, noted that despite their readiness to buy the product at the rate of 7,500-naira at the open market, it was not available.
Guluma, who has four hectares of rice farm, said he could not secure fertilizer from the government this year, and tried to buy from the open market, but it is not available.
He noted that he usually harvested about 30 paddy bags of rice from his four hectares of rice farm for every rainy season, but said he was not sure if his output would surpass last year’s due to scarcity of fertilizers.
Another rice farmer, Mallam Muhammad Ileya-Yari, who has been farming on his two-hectare land on subsistence level for many years, said the state government only provided fertilizers for farmers last year at the rate of 6,500-naira; but this year, “we have not been able to get fertilizers from the government.
“We were told that we can get fertilizers from the open market at the rate of 7,500-naira or more. So, it will be difficult to get enough fertilizers this season for our rice and that can affect our output.”
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