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Agribusiness: Why high cost of fertilizer in Nigeria –Ministers

Bags of Fertilizer

*The Federal Government of Nigeria has attributed the current increases in prices of fertilizer and its production components globally to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government, has explained that the cost of fertilizer had continued to go up due to global increase in its production components.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Information and Culture,  gave the explanation in Abuja, FCT, at the 5th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration’s Scorecard 2015-2017 series.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Information and Culture

The Ministry of Information and Culture had organised the PMB scorecard series, the 5th edition which featured Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.

In regard to the relatively high cost of fertilizer in Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammed stated that the current situation is a global issue.

The Minister for Information and Culture also explained that from 2017 till date, the prices of three major raw materials for fertilizer production, including phosphate, potash and urea, have skyrocketed.

ConsumerConnect learnt the current price of the commodity in retail market is between N20,000 and N25,000 for a bag of NPK or urea fertilizer.

Mohammed further said: “In 2017, one metric tonne of phosphate cost 290 US Dollars (USD).

“Today, the same one metric costs 1,255 USD.

“In 2017, one metric tonne of potash cost 256 USD. Today, the same one metric tonne costs 1,187 USD.”

The Minister also noted: “In 2017, one metric tonne of Urea was 300USD. Today, one metric ton is 1,037 USD.

“You can see that the prices of fertilizer component at the international market had gone up, and this is not peculiar to Nigeria.

According to him, when the Buhari-led administration came on board 2015, the government launched the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to address the perennial challenges faced in production, cost and distribution of the commodity.

The initiative, Mohammed disclosed, yielded results, including the increase of fertiliser blending plants from four in 2015 when they assumed office to 72 presently.

He as well recalled that before the prices of the fertilizer components started going up in 2017, the Buhari administration succeeded in bringing it down from N10,000 to N5,000.

According to him, if not for the fertilizer initiative of the federal government, the cost of fertilizer would have been higher than what presently obtained in the market.

Effects of production costs, climate change, others

Affirming Mohammed’s submissions, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development also attributed the increase in the prices of fertilizer and its production components globally to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Dr. Abubakar asserted that that Nigeria was not insulated from the global impacts and inflationary trend.

He, therefore, assured consumers, that the Federal Government would continue to mitigate the impacts and implement policies and programmes that would cushion the effects of high cost of fertilizer in the West African country.

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