Organizations have been striving to make fertilizer prices attainable for West African farmers, as a lack of access to fertilizer is a major impediment to food production in the region.
THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Bank, and UN World Food Programme (WFP) have forecast severe food shortages due to shocks on food systems.
Multi-stakeholder dialogues have been convened to share successful practices, advances, and suggest initiatives to guarantee that smallholder farmers can acquire fertilizer, thus ensuring their food and nutrition security.
Some of these meetings have reflected on regional efforts towards the production of fertiliser in Africa, educating farmers on the correct use, improving access to soil-testing facilities to guide the targeted application, promoting agronomic practices, deployment of smart and targeted subsidies programmes, use of e-voucher systems for distribution, incentives to promote the local production such as tax incentives for raw materials import and access to capital by the private sector for setting up fertiliser blending plants.
Above all, there was a call for an urgent action to make fertiliser affordable and accessible to farmers given the prohibitive prices and transportation costs and develop area specific soil fertility maps. Africa utilises an average 12 kg of fertiliser per hectare, according to the International Fertiliser Industry Association (IFA).