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Product that knows when to supply crop water underway – Hangzhou Agrochemical

For nine days, manufacturers across different sectors of the economy are showcasing their products at the 17th Abuja International Trade Fair in a bid to…

For nine days, manufacturers across different sectors of the economy are showcasing their products at the 17th Abuja International Trade Fair in a bid to expand their customer base.

Daily Trust caught up with one of such exhibitors, who are showcasing a variety of technologies that will interest Nigerian farmers, and also what they have in the pipeline to introduce in the sector.

Product that knows when to supply crop water underway – Hangzhou Agrochemical

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Mr Wisdom Michael Itigwe, the country representative for Hangzhou Agrochemical Nigeria Ltd, explained what farmers should take into consideration when dealing with agrochemicals.

Armed with one-spray-per-season specialised weed control chemicals for yam, cassava, Irish potatoes, beans, soybeans, maize, rice, sugarcane, onions and tomatoes as well as chemical fertiliser, he explained a number of issues identified with Nigerian farmers.

 He said most smallholder farmers ignored the required number of days for the spraying of their farms. He said they do it when the grass grows larger, which requires a high dosage that invariably affects the growth of crops.

For commercial farmers

Itigwe advised commercial farmers to avoid giving money to workers to procure and use chemicals because most of the workers do sharp practices that may affect farm productivity.

“As a commercial farmer, use chemicals from one source and make sure you get the producer involved from the beginning. This is because most farmers think all measurements are the same.

For example, a farmer in Kuje, Abuja, bought a product from us and went and used 125ml per 16 litres of water, and that burnt down the bean on the farm. I was called, and on arriving there, I asked questions only to discover that the seller had asked the farmer to also use 125ml, and I said you don’t do that.

“This is a very powerful product, which is different from others. So, you see, if that farmer had been involved or enquired from the company, that destruction wouldn’t have happened.

“So if you’re a large-scale farmer, buy directly from the manufacturer. That will cut down on a lot of problems and enable you to know where exactly the problem came from. So, it is good to find out from the owners of the product how to apply the product,” he stressed.

Adulteration, a big issue

Adulteration is a big issue in Nigeria which, according to him, discourages many businessmen.

 “We had an issue with one of our products, which was adulterated and faked last year. The reason was that we ran short of the product in the market. Before we knew it, those who bought from us, went behind to repackage it and resell. But the problem that arose was that of bottling.

“They didn’t know how the bottling was done; they just formulated, but the cap did not lap well, and the sealing was not okay.

“So we complained to NAFDAC – these are the real people to deal with when you see adulteration.

“We had a similar issue in Benue and Suleja, in Niger State, and NAFDAC advised on the steps we needed to take so that they could investigate because if you go there as an individual from the company, they can kill you.

“These are powerful cartels and one of the leaders, from what I learnt, is the son of a highly placed person in government,” he said.

New product coming

Speaking on the new products they are bringing onboard, the country representative for Hangzhou Agrochemical Nigeria Ltd, said they are at the point of registration after various field trials.

 “We are trying to introduce a product that can kill a tree. We just finished field trials. We are also introducing a product that, during the dry season, you don’t need to be watering all season.

“You just put it in the hole and plant your crops. It knows when there is no water in the crop and it will shoot out water that the crop will use. With that, you don’t need to be watering the crop every day. The technology will supply the water needed by the crop for a certain amount of time, mainly in the dry season.

It eliminates the everyday watering system. We are still processing at the regulatory agency,” he said.

Message to the farmer

Mr Itigwe advised farmers not to look for cheap products because “it is cheap products that make most farmers lose and record very poor yields.” You spray today, it doesn’t work, you bring another product and spray on it, and you are retarding the growth of that crop.”

“Find out the product that is going to work for you, not because of its name. Most of them go with the bottles of products they use every year, which does not work for them. Good products are not cheap but work perfectly for farmers and boost their yield.

“Farmers’ need to do product research to know what meets their needs because that will help and give good results.

“For us, any product that has issues or we record a certain number of complaints on, we recall them. We recalled a product we had for soybeans, which did not give us the result we wanted, maybe because of soil texture, and we fixed that issue and many people are waiting for it.”