A Moroccan firm, OCP Africa, has launched its School Lab project in Bauchi State to boost the yield and income of 10,000 smallholder farmers in 70 communities in the state.
In a press statement signed by the organisation’s business development manager, Akintunde Akinwande and made available to LEADERSHIP, the project operates in a caravan of trucks and provides mobile interactive training sessions on good agricultural practices for rural farmers, using live demos and animated videos.
Manned by trained personnel, it offers farmers on-site soil testing, to determine the peculiar needs of the soil and fertiliser recommendations. It also advises farmers on the right kind of fertiliser to use and the best time for its application.
According to the statement, this initiative is the first of its kind launched by a fertilizer producer in Africa, bringing latest soil testing innovations and effective agronomical training to serve the needs of farmers across the continent.
While speaking during the flag-off ceremony, Governor Abubakar expressed his appreciation to the OPC Africa for choosing Bauchi as its centre of operation to implement OCP School Lab across the four states of Bauchi, Kano, Katsina and Kaduna.
“This extensive agricultural soil testing is not only happening for the first time in the state, but it also promises to significantly lift up the productivity of rural smallholder farmers. Bauchi is mainly an agrarian state, and one of the major developmental agenda of our government is to transform the fortunes of farmers in the state,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Mr. KarimLotfiSenhadji, the CEO of OCP Group, the Country Manager of the company in Nigeria, Mr. Caleb Usoh, said that “OCP School Lab is one of the technological methods that the fertilizer company has put in place to help small holder farmers to drastically improve their productivity.
“The caravan goes round to take soil samples in the locations where the farmers are based, analyze them, and then produce specific fertilizers for the crop type and soil type.
“We seek to feed the soil in the right manner. The soil then feeds the crop. And finally, the crop feeds the people”.
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