SAA-Nigeria is helping farmers overcome soil degradation with the Urea Super Granules (USG) Fertilizer Applicator - The story of Adamu Hotoro

SAA-Nigeria beneficiary farmer, Adamu Muhammed Hotoro poses with a USG Fertilizer applicator on his Maize adopter plot in Kano State, Nigeria.
SAA-Nigeria beneficiary farmer, Adamu Muhammed Hotoro poses with a USG Fertilizer applicator on his Maize adopter plot in Kano State, Nigeria.

‘’The old methods of applying fertilizer
did not protect us from wastage.
After applying fertilizers, most of it would be
washed away by rain or getblown away by the wind,
or even melt under the hot sun,
leaving very little to be taken up by the crops.’’

- Adamu Muhammed Hotoro (Farmer)

SAA-Nigeria is promoting the Urea Super Granule (USG) technology through the Kano state agropastoral development project, KSADP to support farmers in maximizing nutrient uptake by crops using the Urea Deep Placement  (UDP) method, which used to be a Japanese tranditional practice. With Nigerian conventional fertilizer application methods, fertilizer is easily washed away by rain and wind after being applied, resulting in poor crop absorption, therefore, farmers sometimes have to reapply fertilizer to ensure a good harvest.  Now that fertilizer prices have increased and are expected to remain higher, effective fertilization methods are more important than ever.

The Fertiliser applicator is a modern farm tool technology deployed by SAA-Nigeria under the regenerative agriculture pillar which is currently adopting effective approaches to Integrated Soil Fertility management (ISFM) to restore soil fertility while optimizing the application of chemical fertilizers to improve the agricultural productivity of smallholder farmers.

A 62-year-old smallholder farmer, Adamu Muhammed Hotoro from Hotoro community, Nasarawa LGA, Kano state is one of the thousands of farmers faced with the devastating effects of Climate change and soil degradation affecting crop production in Nigeria.

Hotoro recently benefited from the KSADP project seeking to improve the quality of life of smallholder farmers in the state.  He says the Urea Super Granule (USG) fertilizer applicator he got through SAA-Nigeria has helped reduce fertilizer wastage through leaching and evapotranspiration effects.

Hotoro says, ‘Thanks to SAA I learned a new method of applying fertilizer on my farm which has made life easier for me, before now, fertilizer application was very cumbersome, it took a lot of my energy and also required bending and walking on the farm for long hours, but now the process is faster and more efficient’’

Alhaji Hotoro explains that with the Urea deep placement method of fertilizer application using the USG applicator, the fertilizer is not exposed but is securely hidden in the soil for plants to take it up. Therefore, it has considerably reduced drudgery and increased productivity, now he is certain of a bumper harvest.

USG Applicator beneficiary explaining the tool to his Children on his Maize plot in Kano, Nigeria

Alhaji Hotoro also explains that he is now stepping down the training he got on using fertilizer applicators to his children and farmers in his community.

Currently, this farm tool is made in China, costing USD126 at N420/unit. However, under the SAA/KSADP project, plans are ongoing to train local fabricators in the state to pioneer its mass production for scaling-up and sustainability.  

A cross-section of beneficiary farmers during the distribution exercise in Kano, Nigeria.

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