Hebebrand flays low fertiliser use in Africa

Fertilizer usage in Africa05 Setember 2014, Addis Ababa — The Director General, the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), Charlotte Hebebrand, has disclosed that fertilizer use in Africa remains startlingly low compared to other regions, with average use at around 10 kg per hectare, a tenth of the global average.

“Yet African leaders have pledged in the 2006 Abuja Declaration to bridge this gap and increase fertilizer use to 50 kg/ha by 2015, a goal which has only been met in very few countries.”

He made this known at the launch of a new campaign, by the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) to promote the importance of fertilizer access for African farmers as a means of bridging the current agricultural productivity gap on the continent. The campaign is being spearheaded by the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) in collaboration with the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and six other agricultural development partner organizations.

Speaking during the launch Wednesday at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), conference in Addis Ababa, Charlotte Hebebrand said “As the voice of the global fertilizer industry, IFA will continue to dedicate time and resources to raising awareness on fertilizer’s role in reducing the yield gap and driving African agricultural development.”

The campaign calls for six key actions to help the African continent to address this challenge, namely: Facilitate local production and imports of fertilizers; Provide better access to credit, finance and insurance; Invest in infrastructure which connects farmers to input and output markets.

The other key actions in the campaign include developing mobile technologies; training more extension workers to work with farmers and to disseminate best practices based on the integration of both organic and mineral nutrients and balanced fertilization, such as the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Framework and Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM)

An expert session at the AGRF to launch the campaign demonstrated the broad consensus from all actors on the importance of efficient crop nutrition for agricultural development but also for poverty eradication and broad-based economic development.

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