Fertilizer Value Chain-Supply System Management and Servicing Farmers' Needs
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
December 2-6, 2013
Program Fee: $1,600 (by November 2, 2013) or $1,800 (after November 2, 2013)
These are uncertain times for all involved in the fertilizer value chain – suppliers, importers, distributors, dealers, farmers and public officials have been exposed to great uncertainty and risk in fertilizer supply, demand and prices. During 2007-09 prices of such major fertilizer products as urea, DAP and muriate of potash quadrupled within a nine-month time frame; and then, in the case of nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers, declined just as quickly and by almost the same magnitude.
What happened and why? Numerous factors contributed to the volatility – global food security threats, the bio-fuel “hysteria” in North America, disruptions in fertilizer production in some markets, export restrictions by some key exporters to ensure their own domestic fertilizer supply requirements and the continued credit market disruptions and instability. Clearly, the external market environment had a direct and compelling impact upon all involved in the fertilizer value chain.
Assurance of fertilizer supply on a timely basis, cost-containment to minimize the high costs of fertilizers in times of rapidly escalating/declining prices, and improving farmer access to fertilizers not only to improve food security but also to allow for acceptable financial returns to farmers using fertilizers have impacted decision-making at all levels. Policy makers, fertilizer suppliers, importers, distributors, dealers and farmers (as well as those providing logistics and financial services) face great risks associated with decision-making in fertilizer supply management. Servicing farmers’ needs is critical to agriculture sector performance. At no time in recent history has there been a greater challenge in improving farmer access to affordable fertilizers.
At the level of fertilizer policy, “smart subsidies” have been popular in some of the most vulnerable markets. One issue is how best to improve smallholder farmers’ access to fertilizers and at the same time preserve market-based fertilizer supply systems. Foreign exchange limitations have necessitated emergency measures to allow for fertilizer importation. During the rapid run-up in prices, fertilizer procurement at the lowest price was a great challenge. And now with prices declining, some major buyers are applying web-based procurement strategies to generate lower quotations. Decisions on pricing, procurement, inventory management and financial management have never been more challenging. And maintaining good relations with supply chain members has never been more important to the long-term viability of private enterprises.
When one considers fertilizer supply, demand and international trade, Asia is arguably the most important region of the world. Asia represents more than 60 percent of the world fertilizer market. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of nitrogen fertilizers. India is the world’s largest importer of urea fertilizer. International fertilizer market prices are directly and very substantially influenced by past, current and future developments in the Asian fertilizer market. And importantly, the fertilizer marketing systems in many Asian countries reflect a high degree of efficiency in import procurement, logistics management, fertilizer demand forecasting, advisory services to farmers and cost control.
While other areas of the world, such as Africa, have different challenges, the global fertilizer market impacts even the smallest fertilizer markets. Most countries in Africa are dependent upon imports (and thus international market prices) for their fertilizer supplies. Fertilizer promotion includes technology transfer, and that is paramount to increased demand, whether it is in Asia, Africa or Latin America. Inventory management, dealer network expansion and management, credit system management, policy influences and implications, pricing, the cost of doing business, sales forecasting, quality control and provision of quality service to farmers have never been more critical to long-term success in fertilizer supply and marketing.
To improve the knowledge, understanding and skills of those involved in the fertilizer value chain, in fertilizer supply management and in servicing the needs of small farmers, IFDC will conduct an international training program entitled “Fertilizer Value Chain – Supply System Management and Servicing Farmers’ Needs.” The program will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 2-6, 2013. This training program, which will draw on lessons learned and best practices from IFDC and partner organizations in Asia, targets mid- to senior-level officials in the public and private sector who are involved in fertilizer supply system and servicing the needs of smallholder farmers.
Training Program Objective
The five-day training program is designed to:
- Improve knowledge of the components of fertilizer markets and marketing in open and competitive markets.
- Help improve analytical, planning and decision-making abilities in relation to the management of fertilizer supply systems and fertilizer marketing.
- Allow participants to assess the status of fertilizer supply systems in Asian economies.
- Identify the policies, regulations and institutions needed to develop highly functioning fertilizer markets.
- Share lessons and best practices among country participants.
Who Should Attend
This program targets mid-level to senior-level public and private sector officials in the fertilizer and agribusiness industries, international procurement agents, import/export managers, strategic planners and marketing department managers who are concerned with the fertilizer supply chain.
Government officials who have a supervisory and/or regulatory role in fertilizer marketing, including procurement and distribution, or the development of agro-input policies will also find the training program useful. The training program is also aimed at representatives of donor organizations involved in funding agricultural input development and private sector projects in developing countries. The program will be conducted in English.
Training Program Content
The program will cover a full spectrum of timely and high-demand topics:
- Fertilizer supply systems management strategies in times of supply uncertainty.
- Demand and sales forecasting.
- Fertilizer marketing in a competitive market environment.
- Innovative technology transfer for farmers.
- International fertilizer market supply and demand situation and outlook.
- Important factors involved in efficient fertilizer procurement (market intelligence, international procurement techniques, import financing, pitfalls, etc.).
- Logistical issues involved in fertilizer distribution (fertilizer handling in bulk and bags, in ports and plants, transportation, warehousing, packaging, etc.).
- Fertilizer marketing in some Asian countries and lessons learned in terms of policy reforms, technology transfer, access to finance and market transparency, private sector involvement, fertilizer market information, etc.
- Managing the fertilizer distribution functions.
- Fertilizer marketing costs and cost containment.
- Smart subsidies – the IFDC experience in Asia and Africa.
- Financial management issues related to the fertilizer supply chain.
- How to better service the needs of farmers.
The program will include formal sessions and breakout groups. Field trips and interactive discussion involving the participants and lecturers will be integral parts of the program, ensuring that specific interests of the participants are covered.
The program faculty will include subject matter experts from IFDC and partner organizations involved in the subject.
To be determined.
Visa and Medical Insurance
APPLICATIONS FOR NECESSARY VISAS SHOULD BE MADE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Participants who are not eligible to enter Malaysia without a visa should submit their application for a visa through the respective embassy or consulate in their country of residence. All required immunizations and health formalities should be completed. Medical insurance should be obtained by participants. The workshop fee does not cover any medical insurance or expenses.
Cost and Enrollment
The program fee for this training course is US $1,600 per participant, inclusive of a US $250 non-refundable deposit. This fee is due with enrollment but no later than November 2, 2013, four (4) weeks before the program is scheduled. Thereafter, a Late Fee will apply. The program fee, less the deposit, will be refunded for cancellations made two (2) weeks before the commencement of the program. Ninety percent of the paid fee will be returned and 10 percent, in addition to the deposit, will be charged to cover administrative costs for cancellations made between two (2) weeks and one (1) week before the commencement of the program. Cancellations made less than one (1) week before the commencement of the program will receive no refund.
Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Paid participants will receive priority. Registration and program fee payments should reach IFDC by November 2, 2013. Those received thereafter will be accepted at IFDC’s discretion and incur an additional US $200 late fee. An organization wishing to enroll more than one participant should supply information and payment for each participant.
Payment of the program fee can be made by: (1) check or draft payable to IFDC; (2) wire transfer to IFDC’s account in the U.S.A. through First Metro Bank, 406 West Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., ABA number 062203955 for credit to IFDC account number 55281; or (3) major credit card – MasterCard, Visa or American Express.
The program fee covers registration, training and reference material, coffee/tea breaks, all lunches and surface transportation on field trips. The fee does not include air travel, lodging and dinner expenses or medical and communication expenses.
IFDC is a nonprofit, public international organization (PIO) dedicated to increasing agricultural productivity and food production through the development and use of plant nutrients in sustainable crop production systems. Headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., IFDC is involved in human resource development, research and technical assistance in collaboration with public, private, national and international organizations throughout the world. IFDC has conducted more than 700 formal workshops, study tours and training programs for about 10,000 participants from 150 countries since 1974. The programs have covered a wide range of subjects including integrated soil fertility management and fertilizer use efficiency, fertilizer production technology, agro-input dealership management, competitive marketing, supply chain management, investment analysis, policy reforms and numerous specialized topics.
For more information:
Director, Training and Workshop Coordination Unit
P.O. Box 2040
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662, U.S.A.
Telephone:+1 (256) 381-6600
Telefax: +1 (256) 381-7408
As a nonprofit organization, IFDC does not finance or sponsor any participant.