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Improving Fertilizer Supply in Africa: Opportunities for Production and Trade
Arusha, Tanzania
28 June 2010 - 1 July 2010
International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) in collaboration with the East African Community (EAC)

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) as the source of this document


About the workshop 

IFDC, in collaboration with the East African Community (EAC), organized an international policy workshop on: Improving Fertilizer Supply in Africa: Opportunities for Production and Trade Arusha, Tanzania: 28 June - 1 July 2010. The background of this workshop is the Africa Fertilizer Summit, which was held in June 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria which reaffirmed the key role of fertilizers in promoting food security and agricultural growth in Africa by issuing 12-point Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for an African Green Revolution.

  FANRPAN was represented by Dr David Boston Kamchacha and chaired session IV on "Strengthening Market and Trade Linkages".

The Abuja Declaration identified fertilizer as a ‘strategic commodity without borders” and recommended that fertilizer nutrient use be increased from 8 kg/ha to 50 kg/ha by 2015. Both fertilizer production and procurement were identified as important instruments for promoting fertilizer use among smallholder farmers; and to support investment in these options, the Africa Fertilizer Financing Facility was established at the African Development Bank.

Sub Saharan Africa is endowed with natural resources like phosphate rock and natural gas for producing fertilizer products. Several countries including Mali, Senegal, Togo, Niger, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Uganda have phosphate rock resources whereas Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria are endowed with natural gas. Yet only a few countries have developed facilities for fertilizer production (Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). Even in these countries, fertilizer production plants are not operating at full capacity. A recent study estimated that most fertilizer plants in the SADC region operate at less than 50% capacity.

The Global Fertilizer Crisis of 2008 has heightened the need to ensure fertilizer security through improving production from existing plants and investing in new production facilities vis-ŕ-vis import from global and regional markets.

Objectives and Scope of the Workshop

The main objective of the workshop was to sensitize policymakers and other stakeholders about opportunities for fertilizer production and trade. Specifically, it discussed technical, economic, and environmental factors influencing production from existing fertilizer plants, assessed technical and economic viability of investment in new production facilities vis-ŕ-vis import from global and regional markets; identified policy and non-policy measures needed to improve fertilizer production and trade; and strengthen linkages among stakeholders from different parts of Africa.

Finally, the workshop focused on the role of technologies and policies in promoting food security and agricultural growth, global food crisis and donor and country response, constraints affecting fertilizer production and investment, resource endowments for fertilizer production, economic viability of production vs. trade, a decision tree for investing in new plants, options for regional procurement to harness economies of scale, strengthening of market linkages, and enabling policy environment for fertilizer sector development.

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