Farmers lament high cost of fertilizers limiting food production

AS Nigerians remain overstretched by skyrocketing food prices, farmers have lamented over the high cost of fertilizers limiting food production amid the dry season farming with no support in sight to feed over 200 million mouths.

Speaking with Vanguard, weekend, an agribusiness expert and Chief Executive Officer, EA Daniels Farm, Engr Daniel Ijeh, said farmers are now limited to little expanse of farmland due to the unabating cost of fertilizers and other farm inputs.

Ijeh said even when some of these fertilizers are bought with exorbitant prices most of them are discovered to be fake products, and this compounds the woes of farmers.

“Affordability is not in the equation. It is relative. Accessibility, availability and acceptability are what I want as a grower, and to meet the trio, I think an intelligent solution driven by system-wise initiative is required.

“The fertilizer producers should monitor the distribution and consumption of their products. They should produce with end users in mind, giving them value for their money. The fertilizers producers are better positioned to check adulteration.”

Meanwhile, according to him organic fertilizers cannot be replaced with inorganic fertilizers as an alternative to cushion the effect of high prices on inorganic fertilizers, rather they complement one another.

“No, I don’t think so. There is a place for organic manure and also there is a place for inorganic manure. None can replace the other because they are complementary and not competing”, he added.

However, he said for farmers to continue with food production there is the need to adopt modern technologies and best agronomic practices while he spoke on what his company is doing to produce food for the teeming population.

This is as a result of the use of hybrid seeds and adoption of drip irrigation technology and better agronomic expertise. “In recent times, our products were sold in Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Anambra and Lagos States. This is after satisfying our place of production. I think this is a way forward”, he