As part of efforts to ramp up production of fertilizer, the federal government has disclosed that it is expecting about 105 metric tonnes (mts) of potassium used for blending fertilizer from Russia and Canada in June, this year
The managing director and chief executive officer (CEO), of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Uche Orji said this on Thursday at a press briefing on the presidential fertiliser initiative (FPI) in Abuja.
The war in Ukraine has led to a scarcity of fertilisers owing to a plodding supply from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
“In 2022, I know one question many of you are going to ask me is, potash difficulties because there were headlines about potash. It was true. There was potash difficulty. About 30 per cent of the world’s potash comes from Russia and Belarus. So, when the crisis started there was a blockade, there were sanctions and all kinds of issues, and we couldn’t get potash,” he said.
“But now, I’m glad to report that we have solved the potash problem. On June 3rd, the first vessel will arrive from Russia. On June 6th, the second vessel will arrive from Canada.
“The President gave us the instruction to go and solve it, find it wherever you can, bring it into the county. We will have enough potash between now and the middle of June for all our needs for the year.
“Last year, we had enough to produce up to 40 per cent of the country’s need in inventory in the warehouses, so that’s coming out. Central bank is one of the big buyers, and they’re releasing it.”
Orji also warned those hoarding fertilisers.
He further assured farmers that the unavailability of potash, which was the biggest problem last year, has been solved earlier through the PFI, which seeks to drive fertiliser initiative.
“Anybody who is hoarding, it’s not fair to do that. We have a food crisis, and there are agencies of government who are now involved in ensuring that people release what they have. We are going to unleash a whole bunch of supply. At the moment, we’re struggling to clear them at the ports. We have two vessels discharging phosphate, and there’s already more in the warehouses,” Orji said.
“So, I sense that as these things get into the market, by the time we get into the peak application season at end of June and July, I’m hoping that this problem will be completely solved.”