NIFOR, OCP Africa introduce special fertilizer for palm oil production

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The Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), the Institute of Agricultural Research and Technology (IAR&T), in collaboration with OCP Africa, introduced the fertilizer blend on Tuesday in Benin.

The Executive Director of NIFOR, Celestine Ikuenobe, and other development partners introduced the special fertilizer at a one-day farmers field day on oil Palm fertilizer validation exercise held at NIFOR.

The blend was developed under the soil survey, soil fertility mapping for oil palm special fertilizer development project under the management of the IAR&T and NIFOR.

Speaking at NIFOR’s Demonstration oil palm field 31, Ikuenobe said the programme was organised for farmers to validate the special fertilizer blend for oil palm production.

He noted that the development of the special fertilizer started in 2019 by way of proposals, adding that the actual research started in 2020 with the first trial carried out in 2021.

According to him, samples were carried out in about 1,500 oil palm farms across 15 states in southern Nigeria after which about 33 farms were selected for the trials due to budget limitation.

NIFOR and IAR&T went into research funded by OCP Africa when farmers were complaining of low yield from their farms.

“It was discovered that more nutrients were needed to be added to the soil and we researched and came up with a formula which we handed over to OCP Africa to blend.

“It is the blend of the special fertilizer that we have trailed on the oil palm in various farms and the yield came out good,” he said.

He appealed to farmers to stop buying all kinds of seedlings to avoid low yield.

Also speaking, the Coordinator of the project, Dr. Vincent Aduramigba-Modupe, a soil scientist from IAR&T, said the collaborative research was funded by OCP Africa.

Aduramigba-Modupe said that the essence of the research was to have a special fertilizer formulated only for oil palm production.

He noted that three different blends of special fertilizer formula, “Were developed for the South West, South South and National.

“We have done the validation for the first year, this is the second year, which is why we are here today to look at the responses of the Oil Palm to the special blend of fertilizers that have been applied.

“And we have had testimonies from farmers about the special fertilizer. Before the end of the year, it will be available in the market for farmers to buy,” he said.

According to him, the special fertilizer is a proof of the concept that research is the bedrock of national development.

Mr Odunayo Orowumi, the representative of OCP Africa, a fertilizer blending company, said that the company sponsored the research development of the special fertilizer.

Orowumi, the OCP Africa’s Project Agronomist and desk officer for oil Palm, said, “We are here today to witness the responses of the oil Palm to the special fertilizer.”

Also, Mr Francis Adole, a Director and a representative of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that government now regulates fertilizer issues in Nigeria.

Representatives of the Fertilizers Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (OPGAN), were also present at the event.


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