Farmers win as Heads of State commit to boost fertiliser use

President William Ruto (left) with Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the African Union Commission at the Africa Fertiliser and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi.

Smallholder farmers across Africa are expected to receive more support from their governments after African ministers and Heads of State committed to support them to enhance food production.

The leaders, who were meeting at the Africa Fertiliser and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi, came up with what they called the Nairobi Declaration, a roadmap to boosting fertiliser production and use and, therefore, food security in the continent.

President William Ruto said the leaders are working towards securing affordable and quality inputs through local manufacturing. “This is the only way we will enhance farm production and hasten our quest in boosting food security,” he said.

In the roadmap dubbed Nairobi Declaration, the leaders committed to triple domestic production and distribution of certified quality organic and inorganic fertiliser by 2034.

Fertiliser use in Africa stands at 18kg per hectare, which is below the global average and the target set in 2006 in Abuja by African Heads of State of 50 kg per hectare annually.

“Eighteen years later, the average fertiliser use rate stands at about 18kg, less than half of the target set in 2006. We have a responsibility to learn and apply the lessons on why this gap remains,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the African Union Commission. Mahamat noted that the continent entirely depends on expensive imported fertilisers, yet some countries in Africa produce the input. In fact, he noted that there is the African Center for Fertiliser Development in Zimbabwe, which has been in existence since 1982.

“We must optimise such existing assets to boost local production and deliver quality, affordable fertilisers,” he said.

In the Declaration, the leaders further said that by 2034, they would provide to at least 70 per cent of smallholder farmers in the continent specific agronomic services for various crops, soils and climatic conditions.

This, according to them, will enhance efficiency and sustainable use of fertiliser that most African governments provide.

President William Ruto (center left) with African presidents present at the Africa Fertiliser and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi.

They promised to support efforts of natural gas producing AU Member States in fertiliser production to increase their production and stabilise prices.

The leaders further committed to fully operationalise the Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM) to improve production and distribution of fertiliser.

Share this post

Comment on post

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *