The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, has called for calm among Nigerian farmers over fears that the pandemic coronavirus may lead to scarcity of fertilizer as the rainy season approaches.
The Minister, who appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship programme, NAN Forum in Abuja, confirmed that the development would affect the level of importation of fertilizers.
He, however, revealed that the country has enough locally produced fertilizers to cater for the farmers and added that “There are companies in some parts of the country and more are coming up.”
“There is no doubt that the coronavirus disease will impact import and export of goods and services.
“We import some essential items like agricultural equipment, consumables like milk and wheat as well as inputs like chemicals and fertilisers and they will definitely be affected in this regard,” he added.
He listed the various fertilizer production companies in the country which include; two factories in Kaduna, Lagos and other ones which can be used as substitute in the mean time.
He further stated that the country is into local production of urea which is the main components of NPK.
“We have Notore and it is producing very good fertiliser. We have Indorama and now Dangote is going to commission its fertilizer company.
“So with all these, we will not be in a very dire situation in terms of fertiliser. It may be a bit expensive but I think we should be able to manage it,” he said.
Meanwhile, he assured that the Federal Government had been subsidizing fertilizers, assuring that it would continue to do that.
“In view of this new development, government will probably try to see how best it can reduce the impact on farmers,” he concluded.