For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Contacts: Daniel Nana Sei Mensah, Bilingual Communication Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org (+223) 62196830 / (+233) 269741128
Dr. Diagana Bocar, WAFP IR4 Team Leader, email@example.com (+223) 77614676 / (+221) 775139234
February 21, 2017 – Bamako, Mali – The West Africa Fertilizer Program (USAID WAFP), financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is organizing a Regional Results and Experience-Sharing Workshop on the theme: Fertilizer Subsidy Programs: How Can Better Use of the So-Called “Necessary Evil” Be Made? The workshop is being held February 21-22, 2017, at Azalaï Grand Hôtel in Bamako, Mali.
Costly country fertilizer subsidy programs have been implemented in most countries in the sub-region in order to increase the rate of fertilizer use and therefore increase agricultural productivity and decrease poverty levels. However, available data point to the inability of these programs to meet set objectives, thereby indicating the need to bring about changes toward “smart” subsidies, which are deemed to be more efficient in reaching targeted beneficiaries, reducing distortions in the commercial fertilizer market and spurring growth in agriculture productivity.
The aim of this workshop is to improve the design, management, implementation and evaluation of current fertilizer subsidy programs in West Africa through the use of standard guidelines validated by stakeholders and endorsed by ECOWAS. More specifically, the workshop will:
- Share results of the review of current subsidy programs in West Africa.
- Identify and use pertinent criteria (i.e., policy- and data-related) to assess current programs.
- Share and document successful experiences from within the sub-region and beyond.
- Discuss policy- and non-policy-related issues and propose recommendations as possible guidelines for the design, management, implementation and evaluation of “smart” subsidy programs.
This workshop brings together experts with knowledge and proven experience on subsidy programs, with participants representing, among others, member states of ECOWAS, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS); regional institutions (West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development, CORAF/WECARD); the private sector (West African Fertilizer Association, WAFA); and Malian institutions in the area of subsidies.
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IFDC is a public international organization addressing critical issues, such as international food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency through the use of agricultural technologies including fertilizers and other inputs.
The West Africa Fertilizer Program (USAID WAFP) is a five-year USAID-funded program implemented by IFDC in ECOWAS Member States and, to some extent, in Chad and Mauritania. The program’s strategic objective is to increase regional availability and use of appropriate and affordable fertilizer. Four key elements necessary to meet WAFP’s strategic objective are: (i) private sector investment and regional trade, (ii) knowledge and use of improved fertilizer recommendations, (iii) implementation of regionally consistent regulations, and (iv) improvement of subsidy policies.