The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) has awarded a $1.4 million co-investment grant to OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited (OCP Africa), a leader in the production of phosphate-based fertilizers, to install modern blending equipment within its fertilizer blending plant facility under construction in Kaduna State. The top-in-class blending equipment will help bridge the gap where there is a paucity of specialized fertilizers to grow crops on a large scale and support food security in the country.
The planned facility and equipment will produce various fertilizer blends customized to the needs of rice, maize, soybean, cassava, tomato, and other staple crops grown in Nigeria. The specialty blends of fertilizers have the capacity to increase farmers’ yields by 50 to 85 percent per hectare depending on the crop.
With the capacity to produce 120 metric tons per hour of these blends and store up to 10,000 metric tons, OCP Africa expects at least 75,000 of targeted smallholder farmers within the catchment area of the plant to benefit from the blending plant’s operations and associated agronomy support services. To ensure that farmers in underserved markets have seamless access to these fertilizers and other quality inputs, OCP Africa will establish 36 of its one-stop-shop Farm & Fortune Hubs across 13 Nigerian states.
As part of its co-investment, OCP Africa will provide the targeted 75,000 farmers with a wide range of agricultural services, including training on good agricultural practices and soil testing.
“Over the years, farmers in Nigeria have recorded poor farm yields due to the quality of fertilizers and other inputs at their disposal,” explained Caleb Usoh, Country Manager for OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited. “The production and distribution of blended fertilizers combined with the training will help farmers produce better quality crops as well as increase their yields, which will lead to higher earnings and better returns for their farming business.”
Through this co-investment partnership, 826 jobs are expected to be created, including jobs for workers at the new facility, trainers, and those tapped to run the one-stop shops. Also, in support of the Trade Hub’s goal to ensure that traditionally marginalized groups have equal access to job opportunities in the agricultural sector, at least 50 percent of these jobs will go to women and youth. The end goal of the project is to foster a thriving agricultural-business ecosystem in Nigeria.
“This project is quite a unique one, and we are excited to partner with OCP Africa to complement the Nigerian government’s policy to leverage locally available resources to expand food production capabilities,” said Michael Clements, Chief of Party of the Trade Hub. “Such policies contribute significantly toward achieving the food security goals in Nigeria, in line with the USAID Feed the Future initiative.“
About West Africa Trade & Investment Hub: The West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) is a USAID-funded initiative that catalyzes economic growth through co-investing with the private sector to generate new investment, create new jobs, and increase the value of regional and international exports in West Africa.
About USAID: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S.
Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.
About Feed the Future: The Feed the Future initiative is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. It works to give families and communities in some of the world’s poorest countries the freedom and opportunity to lift themselves out of food insecurity and malnutrition.
About OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited: OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of OCP Africa SA. OCP Africa SA is a subsidiary of the state-owned Moroccan company OCP Group and is working with farmers, distributors, and local stakeholders to foster a thriving agricultural-business ecosystem.