YAP Proposal #51: “Soil Replenishment” (John Agboola, Nigeria)

Fertilizer Application - Example of evaporation through exposure

Business of soil replenishment through farmer accessibility and affordability (FAA) approach

As a young graduate of Agricultural Economics and Extension from the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria, I have always had interest in agriculture and agribusinesses. My focus areas include farming, marketing, communication and youth engagement.

My name is John Agboola and I am a value chain catalyst and extension agent with knowledge of trends in ways the technology and communication interface with agriculture. My childhood, experience and location, gave me the opportunity to observe farmers struggle to acquire both self-purchased and the widely advertised government subsidized fertilizers.

Over the years, things have not changed. Possible solutions that farmers have employed include the purchase of fertilizers from the open market. However, this has not been effective though it looks convenient as the exposure of the fertilizer to elements of weather makes it lose its potency. This ends up discouraging farmers and the desired outcome – increased productivity/yield is never attained. The farmers lose interest as a belief system that introduction of new technologies are a means to reap them off.

It has also been observed that companies involved in production, sales and distribution of fertilizers have not considered the purchasing power and accessibility of farmers to their products. Factoring the utmost desires of the companies – making profit and that of the farmers – increased yield translated to more money (profit), I believe packaging of fertilizers into smaller sachets and bags so much that any farmer can access any size he/she has the ability to purchase or use. This is termed as the Farmer Accessibility and Affordability (FAA) approach.

This project will focus on boosting the socio-economic livelihood of farmers through the creation of affordability and accessibility of smaller sizes fertilizer. A farmer once said that “To us in the rural area, we only hear of government giving us fertilizer but nothing comes forth but we could only afford small quantity from open market”. This buttresses the need to target rural farmers and young farmers using the FAA approach to benefit the larger percentage of poor people in the rural area, who are arguably farmers.

Presently, Nigeria has close to 160 million farmers and 80% of them are smallholder farmers with less than 20% having access to fertilizer. Averagely, a smallholder farmer operates on 0 – 2ha of land with less profit at the end of the planting season. This means that they will be needing smaller bags of fertilizers than the big bags that are being used. It is expected that the fortune embedded in this project will shoot up their production and income level by 5% and training will contribute efficiently.

Farmers with Fertilizer bags

This project will target about 1000 male and female farmer, create a sense of belonging as they reap the benefits. This will guarantee the sustainability of the project. Also, the beneficiaries will be trained on fertilizer application and soil analysis. This is expected to shoot up farmers’ production, equip them with knowledge, increase their income and ultimately increase their standard of living, not also neglecting networking farmers to make more sales and international donor agencies to partner with in bringing about sustainable agriculture and food security.

The implementation of this approach will include mapping key areas of targeted audience; the identification of supplier/company producing the fertilizer in tons; working with group of three who have vast knowledge of agriculture, soil, fertilizer and farmers to repack the product into sizes based on options for the target audience and finally sell the product alongside our training and knowledge transfer program.

Monitoring and evaluation plan will be incorporated into the project.

The project sum is 5,000 U.S. Dollars (approximately One Million Naira in Nigeria currenty).
The budget reveals that a sum of US $401 will be spent on the shop rental for 2 years; in 1 year, a sum of US $803 will be use for the purchase of machines, materials for bagging and the designing of the product; on a monthly basis, US $200 will be used for purchasing the fertilizer in large quantity and in 1 year, the total spending will be US $2409; cost of labor will be US $481 for 1 year; training and transportation amounts for US $752 in a year and the miscellaneous cost have a share of US $150 for a period of one year.

Blogpost and pictures submitted by John Agboola (Nigeria) – john.agboola.o(at)gmail.com
Pictures courtesy One Acre Fund

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #51 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

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285 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #51: “Soil Replenishment” (John Agboola, Nigeria)

  1. Nice one from your stable, I know you know your onions as all agric students from your Alma Mata that I have known.
    Please what state(s) or value chains/crop belts are you looking at sir.
    Wish you the very best

    1. Thank you Johnson,
      Presently, the focus will be on Southwest State of Nigeria and big importance to Food crops.

      Thank you once again.

  2. This is a good one sir, the passion embedded in your proposal tells me how much you wish to see this farmers assisted. This project will open the eyes of the Nigerian government to what they have been missing in reaching out to the rural farmers. Good job once again Mr John

  3. It such a good one dear, since day one I’ve seen in u d passion for dis kind of project. And i pray it will surely come out of gud fortune for u. More grease to ur elbow

  4. Nice one bro, this is a good step in the right direction especially now when the hype is on about agricultural sustainability and development in Africa.

    One question I have is this, will you be producing the fertilizers or be repackaging alone?

  5. Nice idea John; one question though, will you be producing the fertilizers and packaging them into desired sizes or will you purchase the fertilizers and repack them?

  6. Another great proposal, John! Many farmers neglect the soil, not knowing it is one key ingredient to a successful and thriving farm. Training people how to utilize fertilizers properly is needed!

  7. Its really great idea, you try to solve the problem by kick the main one. About this fertilizer will it be a superficial (anorganic) one?

    Best
    Fitriani saputra

  8. Great concept John! The soil is the bedrock of all cultivation and hence the conservative use of it is very important and glad to know your project will be working on this. Nice one! Keep it up John!

  9. John, I believe this is a good piece. How I wish Nigeria has more young people thinking like this. I wish you all the best.

  10. This looks promising. It will be nice to have the reference or source of the data on Nigerian farmers. I hope your project sails through so that you can inspire several other young Nigerians.

  11. Evry dreamer is not a doer & evry doer is not a dreamer. u ave d deadly combination of being a dreamer & a doer. wishing u Gud luck on ur project.

  12. It is a welcome ideal and good innovative for Agricultural sectors. More Grace to your knowledge with wisdom. All the best

  13. John this is the first idea of sachet retailing, that I am aware of, that is not centred on FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) but inputs. This will be a good strategy to help the pro-poor buy-as-they-need of fertilizers as well spread the rest of their lean resources on other agro-inputs. Good one!

  14. I have never been a fan of government giving or claiming to give farmers input or in this case fertilizer.So if smaller pack sizes will give more access and make it more affordable then it makes lot of sense. My questions however is how do you plan to determine the soil replenishment need of the targeted group? Soil testing? or will you generalize based on crop grown? its important to consider this

  15. I think if this is achieved, it is going to encourage people to go into farming which will in turn reduce unemployment in our dear country.
    Good one brother. More power to your elbow

  16. A brilliant idea. I believe supporting this would transform agriculture using a “bottom up” approach that would be more encompassing.

  17. Good one bro! It’s good to know that young graduate like you could pick interest in your field of study. I hope that as you are young, new trends in Agricultural practices will emerge from you.

  18. This is a wonderful masterpiece.. . I haven’t for once underestimated your capabilities…. I am sure this proposal will fly as I am very sure that you have plenty stuffs to offer….. Keep the flag flying…… Oke Adedamola Temitayo FUTA

  19. This really caught my attention…I’m impressed we still have innovative youths…I hope you win cos I wanna see this work

  20. Since 80% of Nigeria’s farmers are into subsistence farming and just 20% of them have access to government “little” supports if at all, coming up with the FAA idea which directly addresses the needs of the 80% farmers is considered necessary. It is my desire that this project sees the light of the day, because of its ability to increase farmers productivity and enhance food security in Africa.

  21. Mr john…. this ideal of yours is a good one, and i believe it will become successful as long as you ensure it gets to the targeted audience I.e the farmer

  22. Nice on John. If i may ask, how sustainable is this project or how would the project sustain itself ?

  23. Seriously , John this is an awesome idea, am sure this will definitely improve alot of things in this our country. Cant wait to see this work done.Kudos and more grace.#thumbs up#

  24. The outcome we be more beneficiary for both farmer and consumer. Hope is gonna increase Soil pH and fertility?

  25. This is a right step in the right direction man, this will help some more people into agriculture, and also boost their interest in it….This is Great.

  26. Kudos Man, this is a step in the right direction,it will meet the need of the small scale farmers in the covered area…Nice work

  27. This is such a great agribusiness idea that will transform Nigerian agriculture sector for good. But my question(s) is(are), based on my field of study, what is the policy of government on this kind of establishment, is it in favour or against such business venture? What are your legal framework like? How do you mitigate excessive use of fertilizer on the soil over time to reduce soil poisoning and pollution?
    I love to see this business venture come to be, but I also want to see your proper financial breakdown and projections.
    Wish you success on this and more of your agribusiness ideas.

    1. Wowwww. Excellent comment dear Michael.
      Firstly, government had a fertilizer initiatives for farmers using a 50: 50 approach and this is not penetrative enough to the grassroot..you should understand what I meant. So, such initiative like our project is a business arm that aim to support the smallholder farmers, so its in line with the government policy of ensuring smallholder farmers accessibility. Secondly, the legal framework will take the lead from registering the product and getting approval for sales. Although, this will be critically look into. Thirdly, most farmers practice shifting cultivation, so it is expected that this period will be a time for the soil to regain its nutrients. Also, the highlighted training on fertilizer application is meant to properly direct farmers on the use of fertilizer such that it will cause no side effect to the soil or the environment. Lastly, the financial project reveals that a sum of US $401 will be spent on the shop rental for 2 years; in 1 year, a sum of US $803 will be use for the purchase of machines, materials for bagging and the designing of the product; on a monthly basis, US $200 will be used for purchasing the fertilizer in large quantity and in 1 year, the total spending will be US $2409; cost of labor will be US $481 for 1 year; training and transportation amounts for US $752 in a year and the miscellaneous cost have a share of US $150 for a period of one year. Although, there might be some alteration as some of the comments and suggestions from someone like you will be incorporated.

      Thank you big time Mr. Michael.

  28. Wow!!!This is a splendid idea. Excellent proposal. I wish you God’s grace and speed on your endeavour. You represent agriculture and I trust that you would do a great job. Thumbs up sir.

  29. A brilliant idea. Take into consideration the need for farmers to use the right quantity of fertilizers.

  30. John, I know you have great passion for solving agricultural related challenges with particular emphasis on food security. The Nigerian nation need great minds like you to provide lasting solutions to the lingering problems. This is a great piece, I know we can depend on you for solutions. well done

  31. Great insights bro.,
    I am not too much of agriculture though I love it, but I think there are different types of fertilizers with respect to crops planted. I have read some comments above where you replied that the target region is South West Nigeria, then what is/are the target crop(s) which invariably relates to what type of fertilizer?

  32. Great insights bro.,
    I am not too much of agriculture though I love it, but I think there are different types of fertilizers with respect to crops planted. I have read some comments above where you replied that the target region is South West Nigeria, then what is/are the target crop(s) which invariably relates to what type of fertilizer?

  33. What a great write-up..thorough implementation is very vital in improving agricultural productivity in the Country,and we can even produce goods for export quality..more power to ur elbow sir.

  34. WOW!! What a great idea. This will eventually bring about improvement in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

  35. I believe in what you want to do Mr. John, but what I particularly have my focus on is that the fertilizers you talked about will be available in small quantity. My concern now is how do you intend to meet the requirement for large farm land possessed by a farmer, assume that you have a farmer with two acres of land and which is main produce is cocoa.

  36. I have discovered in you,the potentials,passion and momentum to achieve this,you can do it. This,if approved of you,will promote agricultural produce in the rural areas,hence enhance the standard of living of farmers. This will also boost GNP and GDP of this country and increase her stand against foreign trades which may adversely Nigerian currency. It will increase and boom farm produce and still hold soil fertility

  37. am really impressed at this proposal, helping a farmer is like helping a nation. thumbs up.bruh for trying to help d nation at large, God will be with u.

  38. John..Right from school you have always shown your passion for agriculture and always wanting to help others..I must commend your effort on this project.

  39. I have never for once doubted your passion for Agriculture. This is a laudable idea which mitigate the sufferings of our farmers in the nooks and crannies of the southwestern states of Nigeria. Most especially in Ekiti state, where the poor peasant farmers are expeting visionary youths like you, to bring up ideas to better their lots. They will be very proud to have the implementation of this project, trusting God for its approval. Your dreams will materialise. Keep the flag flying now that our economy, which is dependent on crude is fumbling. We need food on our tables.

  40. The business of Agriculture starts in the soil
    Without good soil you cannot have good agriculture, unless using technological systems like hydroponics/aquaponics etc.
    “Farmily farmers live on the soil, live from the soil so it is extremely important that they know everything about the soil”.
    I fully support and endorse this project John.

  41. This is very lucrative concept that will help tackle the bureaucracy peasant farmers pass through in Nigeria. Unfortunately, these categories of farmers make a large chunk of the farmers in Nigeria and they have mostly been denied access to befiting fertilizers for their produce. well done Johnny

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