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  • Welcome to Agricultural Society of Nigeria

    The Agricultural Society of Nigeria (ASN) is one of the oldest agriculturally based Societies established in 1962 by the pioneer staff of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. The objects of the Society among others are to foster the pursuit and understanding of both basic and applied agricultural science in Nigeria, to disseminate agricultural knowledge by various publications including a Journal of Agriculture, and the organization of agricultural shows, symposia, seminars, lectures, conferences, etc; to promote the interest of agricultural scientists, farmers and all those connected with the agriculture industry, and to be in close collaboration with societies having related objects both in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

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National Policy on Fertilizer for Nigeria represents the first attempt to synthesize the disparate policies of the Federal Government on fertilizer into a single coherent whole. Of course, this does not imply that Nigeria never had a fertilizer policy up to this time. Rather, the policy on fertilizer has existed in bits and pieces inside the grey literature such as government files and disparate statements over the time. As such the inherent interrelationships among the different aspects or policy directions are not obvious thereby restricting the value for decision making and referencing by stakeholders. Thus the basis of the present exercise is to produce a comprehensive document on the national fertilizer policy for the country, with a view to consolidating the position of the Federal Government into a single internally consistent whole and show the interrelationships among the different policy instruments employed. Since the establishment of a ministry for agriculture at the federal level in 1967 followed by the creation of the first professional department in the ministry in 1970 (Federal Department of Agriculture, FDA), the promotion of fertilizer and other green revolution technologies has become a deliberate government policy.

The institutional policy on fertilizer involved the subsequent establishment of the erstwhile Fertilizer Procurement and Distribution Division (FPDD), which was established in the FDA in an effort to coordinate the activities of the States in the importation of fertilizer. For many years, FPDD served as the central agency for fertilizer importation and for the delivery to designated points in the country, until liberalization of the sub-sector began in 1995 following which the division was re-designated as Federal Fertilizer Department in 2001. During this period (1976-1995), the main statute in force was the National Fertilizer Board Act of 1977 which provided for the establishment of “a body corporate to be charged with the responsibility for purchasing and distributing fertilizer to State Governments at such subsidized prices as may be determined by the Federal Government”. In addition, we also have the Fertilizer (Control) Decree of 1992 which has provisions to punish any person who, without permission of the appropriate authority, deals in, sells or distributes fertilizer in a place not designated for the purpose of sale or distribution of fertilizer. The production policy became operational in the early 1970s, when the Federal Government established the Federal Superphosphate Fertilizer Company (FSFC) at Kaduna (1973) as the first manufacturing company of phosphatic products, which became operational in 1976. Afterwards the National Fertilizer Company (NAFCON) was also established in 1981 but started production in 1987, for the manufacture of nitrogenous compounds for domestic use and for exports. In addition, the first in the series of local blending plants were established at Kaduna, Minna, and Kano, which grew in number and capacity. Also, their added value was in terms of producing different formulations to broaden the range of products suitable for application in different areas and for different crops. Lately both FSFC and NAFCON were privatized under the continuing reform policy of the Federal Government.

The traditional fertilizer price policy involved the administratively fixed fertilizer price with heavy subsidy. At all times uniform official price for the same products prevailed all over the i country regardless of the differences in landing costs and market forces at different locations and agro-ecological zones. The subsidy provision covers several components of the price including portions of the CIF of imported products and mark-ups of locally produced products, as well as the whole of distribution cost comprising haulage, warehousing and handling. The value of subsidy at its peak in 1992 was estimated at N6.8 billion. The subsidy policy was associated with several problems, namely: massive abuse in terms of diversion of benefits to unintended beneficiaries; smuggling of products to neighboring countries; fiscal burden on the government; among others. This led to the gradual reduction of subsidy to the current 25% level administered to the quantity of fertilizer purchased by government, under the present market stabilization policy. Work on fertilizers forms part of the responsibility of the agricultural faculties and universities, and research the commodity research institutes. For example, the Nationally Coordinated Fertilizer Research Project was mounted for the conduct of practical field research on fertilizer in all zones.

The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, serves as the mandate institution for this research. Also, fertilizer extension forms part of the general extension programme of the government, which has the Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) as the focal points for delivery services. Each agricultural research institute operates an extension unit which undertakes on-station and on-farm adaptive research in collaboration with ADPs. The training and visit extension method (T&V) was nationally adopted wherein the extension packages, comprising fertilizer and other elements to be disseminated, are subjected to the monthly technology review meetings (MTRM) prior to delivery to farmers during the fortnightly visits of the extension agents. The mandate institution for this purpose is the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS). The Federal Government performs a regulatory function operates in the fertilizer sector through the National Fertilizer Technical Committee (NFTC) which acts as an advisory body of experts for constantly reviewing and recommending formulations to farmers as well as new products based on result of agronomic trials. In this regard the National Fertilizer Development Centre (NFDC) was established to undertake laboratory analysis of fertilizer products and formulations. The establishment of a regulatory system for fertilizer is presently under consideration in view of the limited attention paid by existing mandate regulatory bodies such as the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the National Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC). By and large, these disparate policy statements and actions have not been properly articulated into a single internally consistent document for quick reference by stakeholders, including the government itself. As such it is not easy to relate policy actions in the subsector to one another and take effective decisions. Hence the need to synthesize the existing policies together in such a manner that reference and decision making becomes more convenient and the actions of stakeholders can be facilitated. Articulating a fertilizer policy is both consistent with and required by the the overall agricultural development policy of Nigeria. Under this policy support is being given the s ubsector in view of the sensitive and significant nature of the input in the agricultural sector

 

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