The Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) has trained farmers in Ebonyi on the application of fertilizers on their farms and other requirement of the product.
The Executive Secretary of FEPSAN, Alhaji Ahmed Kwa, said during the one-day training for the farmers on Saturday in Abakaliki that it was also to promote the patronage of Nigerian-made fertilizers.
Kwa, represented by Mr Segun Adesola, said that farmers and extension agents would be educated and trained on fertilizer product knowledge, application methods, storage, usage and soil testing importance.
“The farmers and extension agents will also be educated on adequate timing for fertilizer application to also have adequate knowledge of crops nutritional requirements.
“They will also be tutored on the nutrient contents of fertilizer products, right time of application for efficiency and effectiveness, to enhance the economics of fertilizer application.
“This is to increase demand of fertilizer at the small holders’ level with the farmers using and adopting modern fertilizer technologies and have increased access to quality fertilizer.
“Farmers are afterwards, expected to record increased incomes and improved quality of life through increased production from efficient fertilizer usage,”
The executive secretary noted that the outcomes would help Nigeria to attain food security through increased production from the same land put into use.
“Providing farmers, extension agents and other stakeholders with basic fertilizer information will expose them to the product’s knowledge, usage and management.
“The training is organised in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) in the South-East Zone.
“Fertilizer usage in Nigeria has remained stagnant in recent years with such situation limiting crop yield, while mining of plants nutrients degrades the already fragile soil fertility,”
Prof. Ogbonnaya Chukwu, General Manager (GM) of the Ebonyi Fertilizer and Chemical Company Ltd., urged the participants to be serious with the training as every crop had the fertilizers that best suits it.
“We have for instance, four brands of NPK form of fertilizer in our blending plant in Abaklaliki and the crop type determines the brand to be sold to a farmer.
“We have the 12:12:17 brand used for yam, cassava and other forms of root crops, the 20: 10: 10 augmented with the urea brand for rice, the 15: 15: 15 used for maize and rice and the 27: 13: 13 used also for rice but has its urea component removed,” he said.
Also, Mrs Babangida Karim, Director of the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, commended FEPSAN for its efforts in inculcating into farmers, adequate knowledge of the fertilizer product.
Karim, represented by Dr Ngozi Odunze, Deputy Director, Field Extension Services of the department, noted that ADP’s across the country provided agricultural extension and advisory services to farmers in Nigeria.
Mr John Ekeh, a participant, noted that he would utilise the knowledge garnered from the training to adequately apply fertilizers on his farm for improved crop yield.
Stakeholders in fertilizer production, marketing among other agricultural sectors gave their goodwill messages at the occasion.