As part of expansion plan to boost fertiliser presence in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has gone into an arrangement with OCP, a phosphate mining and fertiliser group, to finance the group’s presence in the region.
The finance organisation is to support OCP expand its value chain in Africa, as part of its effort to contribute to the economic development of the continent and to set up sustainable food systems in the region. According to the deal, IFC’s $100 million financing will help OCP Africa, a subsidiary of OCP, to expand its logistics networks and increase the availability of fertilisers, adapted to local soils and crops, in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and Tanzania. The development infers that Nigerian farmers will be exposed to a wide range of fertilisers as Dangote Group has also commenced sales of fertiliser.
The ICF’s intervention will also be used to put in place ad-ditional farmer development programmes. Along with this financing, OCP has also launched projects with IFC to enhance corporate governance, and promote gender equity. “The strategic partnership between OCP Group and IFC continues to grow, and today’s agreement is a testament to the shared values and high level of trust our institutions enjoy.
“We are committed to enhancing sustainable and inclusive growth, while maximising the potential of the phosphate resource. This agreement will allow us to support more crops, more farmers, more communities, more natural environments, and help feed the world. This is a new step towards our common goal of developing sustainable agriculture in Africa, helping the continent play its role towards achieving global food security,” said Mostafa Terrab, Chairman & CEO of OCP Group. OCP, which has 21,000 employees, is a major company in Morocco and the largest phosphate exporter in the world. The agreement expands on two earlier partnerships, one aimed at strengthening the rice sector in Cote d’Ivoire and the millet sector in Senegal, the other aimed at helping OCP obtain the leading global business certification for gender equality – EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality).
“The partnership with OCP is part of IFC’s strategy to promote regional integration through the support of a Moroccan champion expanding into Sub-Saharan Africa, creating jobs and encouraging the transfer of technologies. Through our partnership, small holder farmers will be able to access climate smart agriculture practices, increase productivity thus improving their livelihoods; and communities will be able to better withstand the impact of climate change,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director. IFC is committed to combatting poverty and creating opportunity in Africa while helping the region endure the economic fallout of COVID-19. Recall that after months of speculation, Dangote finally rolled out its urea fertiliser to Nigerian consumers promising to push out a minimum of 120 trucks per day across the country.
The Group Executive Director (Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development), Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, revealed that the plant, which has the capacity to turn out more than 4,500 tonnes of urea per day, would conveniently meet the local demand and even produce for exports. According to him, “we have the capacity to turn out 4,500 tonnes of urea everyday.
This is a bulk application fertiliser. Each crop in Nigeria or globally will require Nitrogen and this is a rich fertiliser, having 46 per cent nitrogen. “The company has the capacity to meet local demand and also export to African countries.
Currently, the demand is less than one million tonnes and we alone can produce three million tonnes, so we can easily meet local demand and also produce for export to other West African countries.” Aside fertiliser production, the company, according to Edwin, is already working to support the farmers with training on application of the fertiliser and even establish laboratories across the country for proper soil examination.