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AfDB to boost African fertiliser manufacturing

Paprika farmer Peter Szabo spreads organic manure on a pepper field in Batya, Hungary, July 9, 2020. Picture taken July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
Members of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Zimbabwe included, are set to benefit from a funding facility meant to boost fertiliser production and agricultural productivity on the continent.

The Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanisms (AFFM) governing council has committed to mobilise the funds to implement the AFFM’s strategic plan 2022—2028 to support increased availability and appropriate use of fertiliser on the continent.

Eleven institutional members of the governing council participated in a hybrid meeting hosted at the AfDB’s headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in March this year.

They were the African Union Commission, Food and Agriculture Organisation, International Fertiliser Development Centre, the African Export and Import Bank, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, International Fertiliser Association; the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Pan African Farmers Organisation, Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Land, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, the African Development Bank and the AFFM secretariat.

The AFFM strategic plan 2022—2028 prioritises broadening access to finance through capital investments and policy reforms. Technical assistance will also be provided to boost smallholder farmers’ access and appropriate fertiliser use.

Through the end of 2022, trade credit guarantees totalling US$8,8 million provided 5,3 times leverage, enabling the provision of 112 268 tonnes of fertiliser to 690 896 smallholder farmers in the four countries.

Under these projects, 97 small and medium enterprises gained access to finance, and 138 companies, including fertiliser suppliers, hub-agro dealers and aggregators, and 20 987 smallholder farmers, benefited from capacity building

“To scale up its trade credit guarantee investments, the AFFM has developed a pipeline of projects for implementation in 2023. These will be rolled out in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania,” said the AfDB.

Beth Dunford, African Development Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, said AFFM is one of the important vehicles for achieving the bank’s Feed Africa Strategy objectives.

“It is no surprise that AFFM has been instrumental in supporting the implementation of the bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility. I’m proud to say that the bank has mobilised our agriculture expertise to roll out facility programs in 24 African countries.”

Ahead of the 2023 Africa Fertiliser and Soil Health Summit (AFSH), scheduled for June and July 2023 in Dakar, Senegal, Ambassador Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment and chair of the AFFM Governing Council, said that AFFM must be strengthened to support the implementation of decisions that will emerge from the summit. Janet Ademe, Head of Rural Development Division at the African Union Commission, spoke on Ambassador Sacko’s behalf.

The processes of sustainable production, distribution, use and management of fertilisers and soil health are critical for the transformation of African agriculture. All of these call for AFFM to undertake its function to avail appropriate financing instruments, which will allow the private sector to invest, and for our farmers to have access and appropriately use this important input in African agriculture. _*Herald*_j

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