• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Low funding stalls organic fertilizer project

organic fart

National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), a parastatal under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is seeking partnership with states to boost organic fertilizer production in Nigeria.

This is as low funding by the Federal Government is stalling the project, commissioned in 2005 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Obasanjo, in 2005/2006, approved a grant of N49 billion to NARICT to site organic fertilizer plants in the six geo-political zones of the country, consequently, NARICT built fertilizer plants in Kaduna, Yobe, Oyo and Anambra, where it planted about 5,000 seedlings of dogonyaro tree, which is a major raw material for the production of organic fertilizer.

The established plants are currently producing 10 tons of organic fertilizer daily, which are supplied to the Federal Government through the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES).

Vincent Oriah, deputy director, mechanical engineering of the institute, in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay in Aba, Abia State, said the institute was currently discussing with states to see the possibility of establishing a fertilizer plant in the state to support its agricultural programme.

Oriah, who oversees the newly created Aba outstation office of NARICT, also urged state governments in the South-East and South-South regions of the country to take advantage of NARICT capability to increase agricultural production in their various states.

He decried the low funding of research institutes in the country, which according to him was stalling the organic fertilizer production project.

Organic fertilizer is made from natural ingredients, which makes it eco friendly, and does not pollute the soil, like inorganic fertilizer that destroys the soil with time, making the soil to be fertilizer dependent. Organic fertilizer enhances soil fertility and gives a better yield. It does not also pollute the crops, like synthetic fertilizers that impact heavy metals in food, thereby affecting our health negatively.