The African Development Bank urged development finance institutions, NGOs, farmer cooperatives and the private sector to come up with more effective financing solutions for Africa’s fertilizer value chains.
The Bank’s call came during the Argus Africa Fertilizer Conference held last week. The theme of the conference was Supporting the fertilizer value chain to improve agricultural productivity and economic growth in the region.
“Appropriate investment and financing of the entire fertilizer value chain has become a precondition for achieving our continental objectives in the area of agricultural development,” said Marie-Claire Kalihangabo, coordinator of the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism(AFFM), during a forum on the sidelines of the Conference.
AFFM is a Fund managed by the African Development Bank to accelerate agriculture development in line with the Bank’s High-5 priority, the Sustainable Development Goals, Africa Food Security Vision and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
AFFM staff and African Development Bank presented strategies and tools to remove pain points in the fertilizer value chains of African countries, including fertilizer guarantee instruments, loans to support fertilizer production and access to inputs like crop and seed protectants.
“The success of Africa’s agriculture agenda requires a synergistic approach that will bring down barriers and silos that are still hampering the development of the fertilizer sector in Africa,” said Mahamadou Nassirou Ba, Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
In order to create exclusive fertilizer financing opportunities throughout Africa and bolster small and medium enterprises in the fertilizer sector, the participants also discussed the need for closer cooperation between development partners and commercial banks. SMEs are said to represent the key to providing smallholder farmers with quality fertilizer.
The Manager of the Bank’s Agribusiness Development Division, Edward Mabaya, said digital solutions like the e-wallet in Nigeria could play a more important role in revitalizing and connecting the fertilizer supply chain.
“The digital transformation can greatly help actors of the fertilizer value chain to streamline their processes and achieve better results,” Mabaya said during the AFFM’s forum.
The Forum also provided an opportunity for Mali to showcase how effective public-private collaboration and better organization of value-chain actors helped raise the country’s fertilizer use to 50kg of nutrients per hectare.