Accra, Ghana | May 27-31, 2019

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About the Training


The purpose of this workshop is to assist participants, in their various roles, to bring balanced crop nutrition to smallholder farmers. Participants will have many opportunities to interact with and understand the added value of the multiple stakeholders working together to bring balanced crop nutrition to farmers.


For decades, fertilizers available to African smallholder farmers have concentrated on the NPK macro-nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Over the past ten years, however, the importance of micronutrients has come to prominence. In this context, micronutrients also include the secondary nutrients calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), which are required by plants in the range of 5-40 kg/ha, and the true micronutrients zinc (Zn), boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and molybdenum (Mo), which are required in much smaller quantities of usually less than 1 kg/ha. When micronutrients are lacking, response to the NPKs can be severely restricted. In some cases, yields can be doubled by micronutrient additions. Crops, like humans, need a full range of nutrients for healthy growth.

Balanced crop nutrition refers to feeding crops with a balanced suite of nutrients that are lacking in the soil. If more than one is in short supply, growth is limited by the nutrient which is in lowest supply. If several nutrients are deficient, all must be applied to obtain optimal yields. Soil acidity constraints may also need to be simultaneously addressed.

Soil analyses from several African countries indicates multiple micronutrient deficiencies appear to be common. Trial results from many countries confirm significant and widespread response to micronutrients. In response, fertilizer manufacturers and blenders are bringing a host of new fertilizer products to Africa. However, challenges still remain in developing and delivering balanced fertilizers to smallholders at the massive scale required.

Training Program Content


  • Government officials in ministries in charge of establishing and implementing fertilizer policy, regulations, and quality control systems.
  • Soil scientists and agronomists from national and international research systems.
  • Those involved in soil and plant analysis from both the public and private sector.
  • Fertilizer manufacturers, blenders, and representatives of the fertilizer private sector.
  • Donors interested in investments in increased crop productivity.


The program will address the below topics through a series of interactive presentations and panels, and a field trip to a fertilizer blending facility.

  1. Soil-SMaRT: An overview of the step-wise pathway to bringing balanced fertilizers to smallholder farmers: Soil analysis, Mapping, Recommendations Development, and Transfer to Farmers.
  2. Soil analysis and mapping: Knowing the extent of nutrient deficiencies is crucial to informing blenders as to what products to produce and where to target. Progress of mapping efforts in sub-Saharan Africa, and limitations to map accuracy will be discussed.
  3. Recommendations development: Developing knowledge regarding which nutrients belong in specific fertilizers, and which do not; different nutrient sources available; nutrient rates appropriate for compounds and blends; using trials and demonstrations to develop and evaluate better fertilizers.
  4. Getting to the market quickly: Fertilizers based on crop demand.
  5. Policy and regulations: Policies and fertilizer regulations need to be adapted to a dynamic and evolving fertilizer market. How fertilizer registration, subsidy policy, and regulations can facilitate or hinder the process of bringing balanced fertilizers to farmers; implications for monitoring fertilizer quality. Creating a facilitating environment for new fertilizer products.
  6. The fertilizer industry: Learn about the processes for producing fertilizers, including manufacture and blending, the difference between compounds and blends, and which is best placed for specific circumstances.
  7. The fertilizer market: The market has changed in the past 5 years, with many new international and domestic manufacturers and blenders participating. How do we create the enabling environment and leverage their expertise to realize rapid transition to balanced fertilizers?
  8. The business of blending: Characteristics of the market and its impact on blender decisions. Feasibility studies, ingredients procurement, developing markets and brand recognition, what to blend.
  9. Fertilizer platforms: The importance of national public-private sector platforms to developing and navigating roadmaps to appropriate fertilizer use.
  10. The donor community: Investing in country-specific contexts.

Venue and Fees


The program will begin Monday morning, May 27, 2019, in Accra, Ghana. Participants should arrive on Sunday, May 26, 2019. The program will conclude on Friday, May 31, 2019, at approximately 5:00 p.m. It is up to the participants to select their departure date, bearing in mind that the negotiated room rate in Accra may not be available for extended stays past May 26.



Boldly contemporary, yet inspired by elements of traditional African design, the stunning African themed decor and professional staff make the African Regent as much a place to stay and relax as a prime destination to entertain and socialise.

The African Regent Hotel is situated in one of the plushest suburban areas in the city, less than 5 minutes from the Kotoka International Airport, the Accra Polo Club, and the Accra Mall, the hotel provides every traveller into the city, be it, business or pleasure, the opportunity to explore and experience Accra in the most convenient way possible.

The African Regent

237/238 Airport West, Accra

P.O Box CT 6143


Phone: + 233 (0) 302 765 180-2

Please book your room as soon as possible, as space will fill up quickly. Contact the hotel no later than April 27, 2019 to reserve your room. After this date, reservations will be subject to hotel room availability and at the best available rate.


The program fee for this training course is US $1,700 per participant (inclusive of a US $250 non-refundable deposit) and should reach IFDC no later than April 29, 2019, four weeks before the program is scheduled. Those received thereafter will be accepted at IFDC’s discretion and incur a late fee. Participants will be given the opportunity to take advantage of an early bird rate if registration and payment is received by IFDC prior to March 29, 2019. Please refer to the table below for pricing:

2019 Crop Nutrition Fee Schedule


IFDC is offering a group discount rate for organizations wishing to enroll multiple participants. For one through four participants, there will be no discount. For five through 10 participants, we’re offering a 10 percent discount. For more than 10 participants, we’re offering a 20 percent discount. Discounts apply only to program fees and do not include a wire fee.


The program fee, less the non-refundable deposit and, if applicable, the wire fee, 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. 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.


APPLICATIONS FOR NECESSARY VISAS SHOULD BE MADE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. A visa is required for entry into the United States. Each participant must obtain a visa from the Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence. Participants should fulfill all required immunizations and health formalities before departing their country of residence. Medical insurance should be obtained by participants. The program fee does not cover any medical insurance or 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 over 11,000 participants from over 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 dealerships, competitive marketing, supply chain management, investment analysis, policy reforms and numerous specialized topics.

For all Training Program inquiries, contact:

Bridget Okumu
Training Coordinator

IFDC Kenya
C/o ICIPE Campus
Duduville, Kasarani, Thika Road
P.O Box 30772-00100
Nairobi Kenya
Telephone: +254 (20) 514 3600

As a nonprofit organization, IFDC does not finance or sponsor any participant.