May 11, 2012 – NAIROBI, Kenya – Recent IFDC studies of fertilizer markets in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania will be presented and discussed during a workshop to be held May 15-16 in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop is organized by IFDC and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP).
Workshop participants will use the market studies to start a public-private dialogue to develop a fertilizer sector investment strategy to help meet national agricultural growth targets. The studies estimate the amount of fertilizer required to meet these targets and identify the primary challenges that could hinder their achievement. The assessments also outline recommended policy changes to reduce fertilizer costs, improve farm productivity and facilitate policy dialogue.
The assessments were funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Feed the Future (FTF) initiative. The assessments of the fertilizer markets in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania are the first three of 12 that IFDC is conducting on national fertilizer markets.
In 2003, African Heads of State adopted the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) as a framework that represents African leaders’ collective vision to restore agricultural growth. CAADP created new opportunities for African countries to develop individual plans outlining their own agricultural priorities. In 2006 the Africa Union held the Africa Fertilizer Summit, which resulted in the development of a roadmap for achieving food security in Africa – the Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for an African Green Revolution.
While there has been progress in implementing components of the roadmap, an ‘African Green Revolution’ requires a holistic approach to all agro-input supplies, improved output markets and pro-market policies and regulations. While some attempts to increase fertilizer use have achieved short-term success, they have often collapsed once the external funding ended, making them unsustainable in the long term.
Created to help reverse this paradigm and accelerate the implementation of the Abuja Declaration, AFAP is an initiative initially financed by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) that brings together governments, donors (particularly USAID) and key implementing agencies such as IFDC and the Agricultural Market Development Trust (AGMARK). Additional partners include the African Development Bank and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Each organization brings its own unique expertise to ensure that this key component of agricultural development in Africa is undertaken in a manner that supports the development of competitive, functional markets, including the critical development of private sector initiatives.
The fertilizer market studies and strategy workshop are the partnership’s first steps toward its goal to provide African smallholder farmers with the incentive, initiative and capability to access and use fertilizer to increase yields and incomes and ultimately improve food security.
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