The increase in fertiliser importation between January and early this month led to a boost in local rice production, The Naija247news has learnt.

The Federal Government was said to have imported one million tons of fertiliser (about 20 million 50 kilogramme (kg) bags of fertiliser) through the Lagos and Tincan Island ports between January and the first week of this month.

Findings showed that both ports took delivery of 254,157 metric tons of the product valued at N27.95billion from eight vessels.

Some farmers said the fertiliser imported from Morocco and Europe was sold to them at N5, 500 per bag.

The last batch of 157, 000 tons scheduled for the last three months arrived the country and was cleared, while the last vessel, V. Sanderling berthed at ENL Terminal few days ago with 43, 180 tons.

Since the beginning of the year, the country was said to have received at least 957,000 metric tons of the product from ENL Consortium Terminal at the Lagos Port and JosepDam Terminal in Tincan Island Port.

The fertiliser was ferried to the seaports by Orient Tiger laden with 19, 892 tons; SFL Humber, 37,800 tons; Nord Mumba, 3,570 tons; Desert Calm, 46,200 tons; Team Tango, 13, 199 tons; Silver Lake, 25, 000tons; Skala Wolid, 31,246 tons; Atlantic Tramp, 36,250 tons and Ionian Eagle, 41,000 tons.

Also, between last May and June, some 343,657 metric tons of Muriate of Potash (MOP) arrived Lagos and Tincan Island ports, while 359,006 tons of Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) were imported into the country between July and November.

Last year, the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Morocco to import NPK and some companies in Europe MOP.

Following the agreement, the government promised that one million tons of NPK and MOP fertiliser would be exported in five batches of 200,000 metric tons before the end of the year as part of efforts to find solution to food shortage and to further reduce the price of food in the country.

In the MoU, government explained that it would control 40 per cent shares, while IML Limited, a consortium of private local investors, would hold the remaining 60 per cent equity stake.

Following the massive importation of the products, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said recently that the Federal Government would further reduce the price of fertiliser to cut down the price of locally produced rice.

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