A United States-based organic fertiliser company, Biowish-Crop, on Monday said it would establish an African branch in Kebbi State.
Biowish’s Chief Marketing Officer in Nigeria, Bill Stevens, gave the hint at a meeting with the state’s branch of the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria in Birnin Kebbi.
Stevens said the company, when completed, would employ over 1,000 workers.
She said the company had earlier planned to establish the branch in South Africa but later opted for Nigeria.
She said: “We don’t want to be importing fertilisers from the US into Nigeria.
“Rather, we want to have a factory here in this country.
“We have chosen Kebbi because the state has stable electricity for the industrial sector.
“Kebbi also has a lot of farmers and a lot of opportunities for the state to have a fertiliser company of pyre organics.
“So, we want to have such a company in Kebbi.”
According to Stevens, both the Federal Government and National Agency for Drug Administration and Food and Control are aware of their presence of the company in Nigeria since 2014.
She pointed out that the company’s fertilisers have been experimented in Kwara, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Kebbi States, and were adjudged to be best for crops output increment.
She said: “Once the consumers patronise our product and they appreciate it, we can now start producing in Kebbi.
“So, there is no need to be importing any more.
“We can just be importing the inputs and be manufacturing here in Kebbi.
“If we start the factory, within the first year to five years, we can employ from 250 to 1,000 as we are expanding.
“This is because we are not only going to be producing fertilisers for Nigeria alone, but for other African countries.”
Stevens hinted that the company has reduced the price of the 250g organic fertiliser from N5,500 per bag to N5,000 as approved by the government.
The reduction, she said, came after vigorous deliberations with the farmers’ association.
Earlier, the state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Abdullahi Shehu, said the ministry had received a lot of complaints from farmers on alleged adulterated fertilisers in circulation.
Shehu said: “They bought the fertilisers at exorbitant prices without improved outputs.
“Now, the cost of the fertiliser is about N10,000 plus and the suppliers told us that that is the cost of bringing it from Port Harcourt in Rivers to Kebbi.
“We have received many complaints from the farmers that they used the adulterated fertilisers and no results.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of AFAN in the state, Alhaji Usman Dan-Gwandu, welcomed the company to the state and appealed for a reduction in the price of the commodity to enable farmers to buy at an affordable rate.