Stakeholders in the field of soil science have observed a GREEN FIELD DAY on demonstration plots in Gidan Mangoro, Minna – with an initiative tailored to increase the yields of small-holder farmers in Niger State through the procurement and deployment of smart-blended fertilizers.

The project which is equally being implemented in five other States; namely Benue, Kebbi, Ebonyi, Delta and Cross River is spear-headed by OCP Africa Fertilizer Limited with funding from the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (also known as Trade Hub) with support from the Nigeria Fertilizer Limited, Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN), Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), and Agricultural Development Project (ADP).

The establishment of demonstration plots for smallholder farmers drawn from a pool of 12,000 selected nationwide, marked the second stage of the project.

The smallholder farmers who are proficient in the cultivation of targeted crops such as Maize, Rice and Soybean are to benefit from training as well as access to customized fertilizers courtesy of OCP Africa Fertilizer Limited.

The objective of establishing demonstration plots on farmers’ fields using customized fertilizers fortified with (Zinc and Calcium), generic fertilizers (ordinary NPK fertilizer) and zero fertilizer – is to provide practical and tangible evidence of the impact of different fertilization practices on crop yield, quality and sustainability.

According to the organizers, this evaluation will provide valuable insights into the potential benefits and draw-backs of different fertilization strategies.

In Niger state, the demonstration plots for maize and Soybean were set up on three farmer’s fields – each around Minna, the Niger State Capital.

Specifically, the plots are located in Gidan-Mangoro, Kodoko and Shikako villages – while the demonstration plots for Rice were established on four farmers’ fields in Majingari, Badeggi village.

Presently the maize and soybean plants are in their 10th week of growth, while the rice plants are in the 8th week after transplanting.

Speaking after Wednesday’s practical sessions on the demonstration plots in Gidan Mangoro, the Zonal Coordinator of NISS (North-Central) Professor Akim Osunde, who visited the plots in the company of some departmental staff and 400 Level students, offered the following insights while speaking to Search FM News about the project

An extension agent in charge of Gidan Mangoro and adjoining communities, Hajia Fatimah Binta Muhammad, and a 400 level student also shared their experiences about the exercise

In his closing remarks, the Gunduma, Gidan Mangoro, Mai Anguwa, Alhaji

Sani Adamu, expressed utmost delight and appreciation to F.U.TMinna, the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science and the Agricultural Development Project, for selecting the community for the establishment of demonstration plots

Highlight of the plot demonstrations included a meticulous on-site scrutiny of crops performance and exchange of ideas between the visiting team and the local farmers.

The Farmers “Green” Field Day for rice crops will hold on Tuesday, the 26th of September, 2023 in Majingari village, Badeggi.