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The Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM) has kick-started a US$2.2mn project to provide fertiliser suppliers in Nigeria with financial support to improve supply for 200,000 smallholder farmers

AFFM 16 MarchThis programme is timely because the government has placed measures to encourage local production of fertilizer. (Image source: AFFM)

The trade-credit guarantee project is AFFM’s first in the West African nation and will involve 10 fertiliser suppliers, 12 hub agro-dealers and 120 retail agro-dealers. The project will train farmers in proper fertiliser use and other agricultural best practices.

A project launch held on 3 March in the capital Abuja, was attended by senior director of African Development Bank’s Nigeria Regional Office, Ebrima Faal and government and industry partners.

Participants discussed the project and its implementation with AFFM’s local partner, the Africa Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP).

“We will leverage on existing networks and look for creative solutions to increase the availability of fertiliser in the country,” said Nana-Aisha Mohammed, AFAP’s representative at the ceremony.

Umar Musa, assistant director of FMARD’s Farm Inputs Support Services Department who represented the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), said that AFAP should work with the Nigerian government and other actors in the fertiliser value chain to ensure that the project complies with Nigeria’s policies and sector strategies.

“We expect this project to support smallholder farmers and improve their productivity in order to help the country increase its local production and consumption of fertiliser,” he added.

“We are confident that the project will increase access to quality and affordable fertiliser by smallholder farmers and hence contribute to the transformation of the agriculture sector in Nigeria,” said Marie Claire Kalihangabo, AFFM coordinator.

Kalihangabo expressed her gratitude to the Government of Nigeria for their financial support to the Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism.

The Bank’s Nigeria Regional Office Faal said the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act 2019 further serves to reinforce the government’s commitment to the sector.