The Issue of Discussion today (Fertilizers) are materials of ordinary or artificial derivation which is typically smeared into soil or plant genomes to stream one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.
The use of fertilizers have greatly increased among farmers because of the many benefits which include:
- Increase in crop yield
- It helps in improving poor quality lands
- Crops grown with fertilizers grow faster, especially when hybrid seeds are used
- The livestock also benefit when the pastures are improved
- Once marshland is drained, fertilizers can help reclaim that land for pasture
Fertilizer business is rapidly growing as more individuals are gaining interest in the agricultural sector. For example, in the rural sector, agriculture and agriculture-related activities contribute to about 75% of the general incomes.
The world uses over 85 million 85 million tons of fertilizer a year just on cereal crops such as paddy, wheat and corn, paddy.
Types of fertilizer in Nigeria
There are different forms and types of fertilizers, and you need to understand what your plant is lacking before deciding on which one to apply.
Below are the different types of fertilizers you should know as a farmer:
- Nitrogen fertilizers: Nitrogen (N) is the plant nutrient responsible for growth and it’s very useful in fertilizers, especially during the middle stages of a plant’s lifespan. At this stage, it needs enough ‘motivation’ to grow large and develop leaves.
- Phosphate fertilizers: Phosphorous (P) is also vital to the growth of your crops. These can be seen in almost every living cell and involved in several key plant functions, including energy transfer, photosynthesis, transformation of sugars and starches and others.
Deficiency of phosphorous in plants will lead to a stunted growth in the early stages of the plant’s development.
- Potassium fertilisers: Potassium (K) helps in the development of plant roots and also protects the plants from harm when they’re deprived of other nutrients. Looking at photosynthetic processes, potassium regulates the opening and closing of stomata, and therefore regulates CO2 uptake.
Archetypal symptoms of potassium deficiency in plants include brown scorching and curling of leaf tips as well as chlorosis (yellowing) between leaf veins. Leaves will eventually die off if the deficiency continues.
See Also: HOW TO START VEGETABLE FARMING BUSINESS
Forms of fertilizer
Fertilizers come in three forms; in liquid, granular and powder.
- Liquid fertilizers: Liquid fertilizers are often diluted with water. before use. You spread them on the plants the same way you water your gardens, usually with a hose attachment.
One of the benefits of liquid fertilizer is that because the liquid penetrates the soil immediately, thereby giving plants faster access to the nutrients.
- Powdered fertilizers: Powdered fertilizers also need water to be productive. In fact, most liquid fertilizers are made up of powder and granular ingredients.
One advantage of the powdered fertilizer is that it can preserved for a longer time. It is also cost effective, and easier to be shipped across locations.
- Granular fertilizers: This is a fertilizer that is dry and is a tiny pellet form. It is spreadable and should be measured. It can come in both a natural and synthetic form.
They can easily be spread on the top soil. These nutrient pack granules will be soaked into your garden over time as you water it.
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How to start a fertilizer distribution company
If you’re planning on how to start a fertilizer distribution company in Nigeria, the below steps will show you all you need to know:
- Write a business plan
As you’re business will be needing a good amount of money, writing a business plan will help in convincing lenders and investors that your business is worth putting their money into.
Your business plan will contain the future of your business; your plans and how you intend achieving them.
For example, will you be selling both organic and chemical fertilizers or just one of them? What areas will your business be covering? How do you intend competing with already established distributors?
You can find out more by reading our article on the step by step guide on how to write a professional business.
- Acquire the necessary licences for running a fertilizer distribution business
There are laws guiding the operations of businesses in every country. If you’d be running your business in Nigeria, you’ll first have to register your business name with the necessary bodies. There are many benefits of registering your business name, especially if you’d be interesting in seeking for business funding in the later run.
Whether a grant or a loan from a government institution or financial body, you’d be required to present your CAC certificate to prove that your business is legal in Nigeria.
- Find suppliers to partner with
There are various ways of getting suppliers. For instance, you can talk with local farmers to know the brands of fertilizers they use. After which you’d contact the suppliers to begin negotiating to see if you both can agree on a price.
Alternatively, you can with your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau. There are also a number of free business listing websites in Nigeria that you can visit to place a quick search.
- Buy/rent the necessary equipment and building
You’ll be needing an office and a computer at your house. Depending on your scale, you might also be needing a truck to convey the fertilizers to your customers and a warehouse for storing your inventory.
While running the business, also remember to keep the environment safe from pollution. Endeavour to follow the careful storage and handling policies to avoid polluting the local water supply.
- Advertise your goods
At this stage, you’d need to make people know of your business. You can contact businesses or individuals with discounts and other incentives as first time customers.
You can also consider taking your business online by having an official website. It is very affordable and will help you reach more potential customers at very affordable rates.
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