This dramatic price surge has been a direct fallout from the war, severely affecting the nation's farming sector.
Nigeria primarily relies on imports of Muriate of Potash (MOP), a crucial ingredient for blending agricultural inputs, sourced from Russia. However, due to the web of sanctions imposed on Russia, this essential supply chain has been disrupted.
Speaking to reporters during the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York, Mr. Lavrov disclosed that a staggering 260,000 metric tons of Russian fertilizers had been stranded in EU ports since 2022.
"We are prepared to provide these fertilizers to African nations at no cost. The first consignment of 20,000 tons reached Malawi after six months, and another 30,000 tons went to Kenya in three months."
He added, "We also have a stockpile of 34,000 tons earmarked for Nigeria, yet our efforts to deliver it have thus far been unsuccessful."
To put this figure into perspective, the 34,000 metric tons equate to a staggering 34 million kilograms or a remarkable 680,000 units of 50-kilogram bags of fertilizer.
However, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which erupted in February 2022, has had far-reaching ramifications, extending beyond territorial boundaries. Global food prices and the cost of key commodities like fertilizer have surged in its wake as Russia and Ukraine together constitute approximately 30% of the world's wheat exports and roughly a fifth of global maize production.
For Nigeria, this crisis has resulted in a tripling of fertilizer prices, severely impacting the nation's farmers. Nigeria's heavy reliance on imports of Muriate of Potash (MOP) from Russia for blending agricultural inputs has left it vulnerable to the sanctions imposed on Russia.
The United States, Canada, the European Union, and other allies of Ukraine responded to Russia's invasion with a barrage of economic sanctions. These sanctions not only targeted Russia but also encouraged other nations to isolate the country.
The implications of this price surge are dire for millions of Nigerian farmers, many of whom are struggling with poverty. These fertilizers are indispensable for their crop cultivation.