The Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) has said that the establishment of more fertiliser plants in the country has curbed the activities of unscrupulous middlemen in the sector.
Mr Gideon Negedu, FEPSAN Executive Secretary, said on Friday in Lagos.
Negedu, who lauded the initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari in the sector, commended the Dangote group for its newly established fertiliser plant in Lagos State.
According to him, under Buhari’s leadership, the activities of middlemen in the fertiliser sector has been significantly curbed.
“Everyone needs to understand what we are doing in the fertiliser space currently, we are into full scale production.
“What you call middlemen now are more of agro-dealers and these are very respectable businesses that are not looking for arbitrary profits because there is competition in the sector.
“If any agro dealer sells his fertilisers at an exorbitant price, another agro dealer will sell it less and then corner the market to himself.
“This goes for any fertiliser plant, what we have under the presidential initiative is an atmosphere of competition in the fertiliser sector and this competition essentially benefits the farmer.
“What the Dangote Fertiliser Plant is set to do is to ensure that the Nigerian space does not have any scarcity of fertilisers.
“Dangote coming aboard the fertiliser sector, like his other investments, has increased the availability of fertilisers in the country.,” he said.
Negedu also said more availability and accessibility of fertilisers to local farmers would save them from exploitative middlemen.
The secretary explained that the only reason the middlemen were in the sector was due to the scarcity.
“For example, we do not need middlemen for noodles, we have so many brands in the market because they are everywhere and affordable.
“So, this is what is happening in the Nigerian fertiliser industry, we now have so many brands of fertilisers for local farmers.
“There is also a regulatory framework from the government to manage how these plants behave so in the final run, the farmer is assured of the quality of fertiliser that he is getting.
“We have also witnessed this in terms of consumption,. In the last five years , Nigeria has almost doubled its fertiliser consumption. This is a very positive development.
“The more available fertilisers are to the local farmers, the more difficult it will be for unscrupulous and greedy middlemen to take advantage of the local farmers,” Negedu said.
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