Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 February 2020:
|Last Friday, the African Development Bank called on development finance institutions, NGOs, farmer cooperatives, and the private sector to develop more effective financing solutions for Africa’s fertilizer value chains.
The Bank’s call to action came during the Argus Africa Fertilizer Conference held on 19 February. The conference’s theme 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, during a forum on the side-lines 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, Africa Food Security Vision, the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Bank and AFFM staff presented tools and strategies to remove pain points in the fertilizer value chains of African countries, including fertilizer guarantee instruments (http://bit.ly/2Vb3PGY), loans to support fertilizer production (http://bit.ly/32h1CLB) as well as access to inputs like seeds and crop 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.
Participants also discussed the need for closer cooperation between development partners and commercial banks to create exclusive fertilizer financing opportunities throughout Africa and bolster small and medium enterprises in the fertilizer sector. SMEs are thought to represent the key to providing smallholder farmers with quality fertilizer.
Edward Mabaya, Manager of the Bank’s Agribusiness Development Division said digital solutions like the e-wallet in Nigeria could play a more significant 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 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. In achieving this, the country met a target set in the 2006 Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for the African Green Revolution (http://bit.ly/2P9WHGU)
“The success story of Mali’s fertilizer expansion is partly due to the presence of inter-professional committees per crop,” said Oumar Guindo, General Manager of the Toguna Agro Industries, a fertilizer company based in Mali.
About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (https://www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
First things first – The African Development Bank should avoid implementing any of their policies,and objectives in haste without first doing a careful,and meticulously study on the Agricultural sector in Sierra Leone.True. As a voice for the voiceless,I am totally against poorly advised decisions,no matter how well meaning they may be. Once upon a time,the stories about the many uses and benefits of chemical fertilizers were all awe-inspiring, but not anymore. The Fertilizers that the ADB is loudly promoting across board,in Africa have been known to have devastating effects on our environment,and on the health of human beings and livestock.
Its a sad story,no one wants to share,which no one wants you to hear – Increase pollution,acidification of the soil, waterway pollution, mineral depletion of the soil,are worth mentioning in this debate since the goal-oriented ADB doesn’t care to do so. And then there are severe chemical burns to crops, which are sometimes later sold to the public due to lack of adequate monitoring, and supervision, thereby opening the doors wide to all kinds of incurable diseases – lung cancer, kidney problems, and stomach ulcers.
Again, the higher concentration of fertilizers on crops and vegetables,the greater the risks of consuming foods that may be hazardous to our health.So if it was entirely up to me,I would avoid the use of fertilizers completely,or use them if we have to very rarely,cautiously,under the strictest terms possible. Organic farming should be given high priority because we are
what we eat. A nation that eats healthily,will always prosper,and live longer.
So,why not encourage,and finance local farmers to double their efforts in diverse types of natural,organic farming instead? Again, if their insistence is to promote the use of fertilizers, then extensive training,and supervision must be given to local farmers,to familiarise them with the benefits, dangers, and disadvantages of using chemical fertilizers on their crops …..Rising Sun Will Rise Again.