Notore exceeded its Q1, 2011 production targets by over 35%. With this improvement, Notore over the next few months intends to complete the ongoing debt refinancing program that will realign its cash flow with improved production, ahead of its planned public listing (scheduled for 2012) to fund a second Ammonia/Urea plant at the Onne facility.
“We are delighted that the Notore brand is making steady progress in the market place, differentiating itself from others brands in the market with its quality products. The TSA will ensure that we have constant feed of quality products into the Nigerian fertiliser market”, says Onajite Okoloko, Group Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Notore Group.
“Now that we are out of the project finance stage of our plans, and we have a major strategic partner in Tata Chemicals, we will now concentrate our activities of expanding our market and volumes. The Nigerian fertiliser market can easily grow two to three folds very quickly if good quality fertilisers are made available to the farmers as and when it is required. We are empowering Nigerian farmers with the right education and inputs (fertilisers and improved seeds) to enable them produce higher crop yields per hectare than they previously did.”
Key to Notore’s successful penetration into the Nigerian fertiliser market is the establishment of a nationwide distribution and sales network as well as a campaign to educate farmers about best practices in fertiliser use and application. In January 2011, classes have taken place in over 400 locations nationwide. “The goal is to ensure that when the rains come, our farmers will have the right knowledge and mindset to generate the yields that are possible through empowering the farmer,” says Innocent Okuku, Head, Agricultural Services, Notore.
In order to compliment farmer education, in 2009, Notore made history by breaking bulk and reducing the hitherto 50kg bags into 1kg and 10kg bags for easier accessibility and affordability to subsistent farmers who found it challenging to purchase fertiliser. Success of the 1kg bag and farmer education is already evident in the impact it is making at the grassroot level. Auwalu Sani, one of the empowered farmers in Sabonlayi Nasaru in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State says, “We are encouraged by the adoption of these best practices. Notore taught me the fertiliser business in which I sold about half a truck of 1 kg and about half a truck of 50kg. I have expanded my business to selling other farm inputs. They also taught me the best practices, and I in turn, through demonstration plots, teach farmers how to improve their yields. I am now known throughout my community and beyond as a provider of agriculture extension services and farm inputs. I was able to build a house, got married and now own a
motorbike. I think this is something that any farmer will love to achieve.”
“Our goal is to multiply this effort all over Nigeria. This is what will reduce poverty, unemployment and create wealth at the grassroots. We can only do this through a focused execution of our goals and partnering with other established and successful organizations,” says Onajite Okoloko.
Notore’s fertiliser plant acquired from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (“BPE”) in 2005 has shown significant performance improvement since its successful rehabilitation exercise. The Notore plant has a capacity of 350,000metric tonnes (“MT”) of Ammonia per annum, 500,000MT of Urea per annum and 650,000MT of blended NPK.
The bottom line is that Notore is gearing up for bigger and better things. No one said championing the African Green Revolution was going to be easy, but Notore plans to make agriculture rewarding for the farmers.
April 12, 2011