Today, the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) Ghana opens its doors to key public and private sector professionals working in the agricultural space in Ghana to celebrate over 20 years’ experience; highlight its expertise and solutions; strengthen profitable partnerships and relationships; and build new synergies to promote agriculture to benefit thousands of Ghanaian farmers and improve their general livelihoods.
Established in Ghana in 2002, IFDC has contributed to the development of agriculture across the country to promote local economic development by increasing food security and agricultural productivity through effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technologies and agribusiness expertise using a bottom-up approach. IFDC interventions aim to significantly boost the production of higher quality food by eliminating waste and impacts to and from agricultural water, land, seeds, and fertilizers. Additionally, IFDC is promoting climate smart and resilient farming systems and technologies among smallholder farmers to reduce adverse environmental impacts associated with agriculture productivity.
“IFDC emphasizes collaboration with partners, working with smallholder farmers, encouraging women and youth participation, while creating opportunities for youth employment in agro-industrial partnerships,” said Dr. Oumou Camara, IFDC North and West Africa Regional Director. “Studies have shown that sub-Saharan African women compose 60-80% of the labor force yet are faced with persistent social and economic constraints. Therefore, IFDC ensures that its projects address the constraints that limit access to productive resources and services by the vulnerable, women, and youth”.
IFDC in Ghana has contributed to supporting the development and implementation of national and regional agricultural policies within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). This includes devoting key resources in 2018 and 2019 in Ghana to facilitate reforms in the Planting for Food and Jobs fertilizer subsidy program.
IFDC has implemented several projects in Ghana and currently is implementing five projects including:
- The SAPEP program, which assists West African smallholders to overcome productivity challenges related to soil, seed, training, and market access. It established a modern soil and plant analysis laboratory.
- The 2SCALE program, which incubates and accelerates inclusive businesses through partnerships with companies. It established eight partnerships in Ghana, reaching over 21,000 women and youth.
- The FERARI program, a public-private program that integrates an on-the-ground implementation program to develop the fertilizer value chain with transdisciplinary research by Ph.D. and postdoctoral researchers. It established the Ghana Fertilizer Platform.
- The EnGRAIS program, which aims to increase the availability/use of fertilizers for smallholder farmers in West Africa. Some of its products include the West Africa Fertilizer Business Information Guide and the online Fertilizer and Seed Recommendations Map for West Africa.
- The AfricaFertilizer.org initiative, the premier source for fertilizer statistics and information in Africa. It launched the Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture dashboard.
IFDC bases its strategy on the development of public-private partnerships as drivers of change by developing innovative approaches to improving the governance of agricultural value chains. This principle is the foundation of the 2SCALE project, which also covers Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Togo. Under this project, IFDC is supporting small and medium enterprises through public-private partnership agreements and building commercially viable and sustainable agricultural food value chains in Ghana and other participating countries in Africa. This creates a mutually beneficial business environment for smallholder farmers, buyers, processors, distributors, and consumers.
IFDC is a public international organization active in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and America. IFDC uniquely approaches the global issues of food security and poverty by bridging the gap between research and impact, combining science-based innovations, holistic market systems development, an enabling policy environment, and strategic partnerships to assist farmers and countries to identify and scale sustainable agricultural solutions, including improved nutrient use efficiency. These approaches are needed to boost soil health and crop productivity while reducing the environmental impact of fertilizer use. IFDC translates research into action by using locally driven, environmentally sound, and impact-oriented solutions. With our partners, we seek to close the yield gap, eradicate global hunger, safeguard the soils on which our lives depend, and generate economic resilience for farming households and the countries in which they live.