18-19 September 2013, Accra, Ghana. WEST AFRICA FERTILIZER STAKEHOLDERS’ FORUM 2013 “WAFSF” “Ensuring a Favorable Policy and Regulatory Environment for Fertilizer Trade and Use in West Africa”.
According to forum organizers, about 30% of the recent global increases in cereal production have been accounted for by fertilizers and the need to enhance fertilizer use has been highlighted since the Abuja Summit in 2006.
Increased fertilizer use has become a cornerstone of Africa’s agricultural productivity agenda. Fertilizer consumption levels in West Africa are generally below 10 kg/ha compared with a world average of 107 kg/ha and far below the target of 50 kg/ha set by African governments to be met by 2015.
Obstacles to achieving the target of 50 kg/ha include limited access to credit and finance, inefficient and high-cost port operations, sub-optimal lot sizes, and weak distributor and agro-dealer networks. Other barriers are inadequate fertilizer recommendations, limited access to finance and credit and output markets, the high cost of capital, and inadequate packaging for smallholder farmers.
Policy-side barriers include non-supportive fertilizer policies (such as subsidies and taxes) and a lack of harmonization of trade and quality control procedures, resulting in low levels of intrastate trade.
The passage of ECOWAS Fertilizer Regulation C/REG.13/12/12 paves the way for a favorable policy and regulatory environment for investments that improve the supply and use of fertilizers in the region.