African countries have been called to increase investments in Africa’s fertilizer value chain to boost agricultural yields and build the industry across the continent.
The call was launched by the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism during its Governing Council held last week in the headquarters of the African Development Bank in Abidjan.
The Governing Council, attended by its 12 institutional members, reviewed its 2019 activities and defined the body’s strategic direction for 2020, said the AfDB in a press release.
“The Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) has now effectively started implementing its activities as its first agreements were signed in 2019 to foster the fertilizer market in Nigeria and Tanzania. New projects are being prepared for implementation in other countries,” said Marie Claire Kalihangabo, the AFFM’s coordinator.
Participants, who discussed ways to mobilize more resources to scale up AFFM’s activities on the continent and the possibility to significantly transform the fertilizer value chain in Africa, recommended mainstreaming AFFM’s projects into the lending program of the African Development Bank and other stakeholders, like Afreximbank, for increased impact.
Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture who also serves as Chairperson of the AFFM Governing Council, called on the AFFM to work closely with key stakeholders to implement the resource mobilization objectives. She also called on the AFFM to build strategic partnerships that will speed up the implementation of the Abuja Declaration objectives.
“Transforming the fertilizer value chain requires that governments, development organizations, the private sector, civil society and farmers come together to strategize on solutions that can appropriately address challenges the agriculture sector is currently facing in Africa,” the commissioner said.
Sacko also provided an update on the second Fertilizer Summit, scheduled to take place in 2021. The summit will bring together African leaders and other stakeholders to evaluate progress since the 2006 Abuja Declaration, and chart the way forward.
The AfDB considers the AFFM as an important mechanism to improve the availability and affordability of fertilizers at the smallholder farmer level.
The Council also committed to supporting the review of the AFFM strategy and resource mobilization plan, which will spur the organization’s activities in other countries.
The AFFM was established by the 2006 Abuja Declaration in a bid to improve agricultural productivity by providing financing required to boost fertilizer use in Africa to achieve the target of 50 kg of nutrients per hectare.