The Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism’s Governing Council closed its eighth meeting with a call for increased investment to boost agricultural yields and build the industry across the continent.
The Council met on 24 January at the Abidjan headquarters of the African Development Bank, which hosted the talks. The meeting was attended by its 12 institutional members, who reviewed its 2019 activities and defined the body’s strategic direction for 2020.
“The Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism has now effectively started implementing its activities as its first agreements were signed in 2019 to foster the fertilizer market in Nigeria and Tanzania. New projects are being prepared for implementation in other countries,” said Marie Claire Kalihangabo, the AFFM’s coordinator.
The Governing Council commended the AFFM on its 2019 achievements and endorsed its second annual report, as well as its 2020 work program and budget. The meeting discussed ways to mobilize more resources to scale up its activities on the continent.
Participants said the organisation could significantly transform the fertilizer value chain in Africa and strongly recommended mainstreaming its projects into the lending program of the African Development Bank and other stakeholders, like Afreximbank, for increased impact.
Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture who also serves as Chairperson of the AFFM Governing Council, called on the AFFM to work closely with key stakeholders to implement the resource mobilization objectives. She also called on the AFFM to build strategic partnerships that will speed up the implementation of the Abuja Declaration objectives.
“Transforming the fertilizer value chain requires that governments, development organizations, the private sector, civil society and farmers come together to strategize on solutions that can appropriately address challenges the agriculture sector is currently facing in Africa,” the commissioner said.
Sacko also provided an update on the second Fertilizer Summit, scheduled to take place in 2021. The summit will bring together African leaders and other stakeholders to evaluate progress since the 2006 Abuja Declaration and chart the way forward.
The Bank considers the AFFM as an important mechanism to improve the availability and affordability of fertilizers at the smallholder farmer level. “Through its flexible structure, multiple financial instruments and in-house expertise, [the AFFM] can create long-term impact on the fertilizer value chain in Africa,” said Martin Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry at the African Development Bank.
The Council also committed to supporting the review of the AFFM strategy and resource mobilization plan, which will spur the organization’s activities in other countries.
Read the original article on AfDB.org