AS part of efforts to increase agricultural production in Nigeria, the federal government has sensitised farmers and relevant stakeholders in the agriculture sector on the use soil/crop specific fertilizer for Nigerian soils.
Speaking during the public awareness and workshop in Kano, the Director, Farm Inputs Support Services Department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Engr. Ohiare Jatto, reiterated the need to increase food production to match the growing population in the country.
Jatto who said conscious effort must be made to feed to stimulate food production, added that it was evident that one of the major constraints of food production in the country is the high cost of inputs especially fertilizer.
While explaining that the use of soil/crop specific fertilizers in Nigeria has been one of the major policy aspirations of the ministry, he said the policy was birthed in 2014 when it was presented and approved at the National Council of Agriculture (NCA) meeting.
He said, “More worrisome is the fact that farmers are made to pay for nutrients which are not actually needed. This has been the case in the use of blanket fertilizers such as NPK 15-15-15 fertilizers as considerations are never given to level of nutrients already in the soil.
“The use of soil/crop specific fertilizers emphasizes the need to conduct soil analysis and develop fertilizers that will specifically supply only the appropriate and adequate nutrients to the soil based on the crop to be grown on the soil.
He further explained that the goal of the programme is to stimulate increased farmer’s output, income and food security at the national level without endangering the soil resources.
He requested the fertilizer blenders to start the blending of the customized formulations, and also urged farmers to embrace the technology.