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Nigeria to host second ECOWAS fertilizer forum

Ghana Web – May 9, 2016
Nigeria will be hosting the rest of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja for the second annual West Africa Fertiliser Stakeholder’s Forum (WAFSF).
ECOWAS, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) of Nigeria, will have the forum at the NAF Conference Centre and Suites in Abuja, Nigeria, from May 18-20, 2016.
With the “scaling up quality and adapted fertilizer supply in West Africa”, the forum follows the successful organization of the inaugural one in Accra, Ghana, in 2013.
It is facilitated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the West Africa Fertiliser Program (USAID WAFP), and implemented by the International Fertiliser Development Center (IFDC) and the Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnerships (AFAP).
About 30% of the recent global increases in cereal production in West Africa are said to be a result of increased use of quality fertilizers, and the need to enhance fertilizer use has been highlighted since the Abuja Summit in 2006.
Increased fertiliser use has become a cornerstone of Africa’s agricultural productivity agenda.
Fertilizer consumption levels in West Africa are generally below 10 kg/ha compared with a world average of 107 kg/ha. This is also far below the target of 50 kg/ha set by African governments to be achieved by 2015.
Obstacles to achieving the target of 50 kg/ha include limited access to credit and finance, inefficient and high-cost port operations, sub-optimal lot sizes and weak distributor and agro-dealer networks.
Other barriers are inadequate fertilizer recommendations, output markets and packaging for smallholder farmers.
Policy-side barriers include non-supportive fertilizer policies (such as subsidies and taxes) and a lack of harmonization of trade and quality control procedures, resulting in low levels of intrastate trade.
In response to the above situation, the WAFSF organises a platform for public-private dialogue on key topics such as ECOWAS regulations and harmonization, professionalization of the fertilizer value chain, logistics and infrastructure constraining the commercial supply of fertilizer and improvement of subsidy policies and programs in the region.
WAFSF further seeks to establish valuable business linkages and public-private partnership opportunities throughout the supply chain in the region for commercial, investment and developmental purposes.
This forum will bring together approximately 400 delegates including public officials, policy makers/implementers, international and local manufacturers and traders, importers, blenders, distributors (wholesalers and retailers), bankers and farmer-based organizations to discuss practical approaches for achieving increased supply, distribution and use of quality fertilizers in West Africa.
Specific areas to be discussed include: Fertiliser regulation and quality control, trade and logistics, finance, subsidies and fertiliser recommendations.
Nigeria will be seizing this opportunity to showcase its commitment to promoting quality and soil-specific fertilizer in the sub region, as well as charting a new path for fertilizer and agribusiness value chain in the country.
Nigeria is expected to further provide leadership in strengthening ECOWAS’ commitment to the harmonization of member states’ fertilizer policies.
 

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