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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

AU adopts 10-year action plan on fertiliser production

Story by Thembinkosi Mangena

The African Union has adopted a 10-year action plan that will see more support being given to the Harare-based African Centre for Fertiliser Production.

The plan was adopted by African leaders at the just-ended Fertiliser and Soil Health Summit in Kenya where the focus was on increasing production and distribution of the agricultural commodity on the continent.

It was an eventful day in Nairobi Thursday as African leaders, among them President Emmerson Mnangagwa, sought lasting solutions to the food security situation on the continent.

Among the resolutions of the summit, which were communicated through a communique, is the target to triple local production and distribution of organic and inorganic fertilisers, with capacitation of the Harare-based African Centre for Fertiliser Production key towards this target.

The resolution has the support of Zimbabwe and other African countries.

 Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Fredrick Shava said, “Zimbabwe fully supports the recommendations contained in the draft declaration, to strengthen research and development on the utilisation of inorganic and organic fertilizers. In this regard, Zimbabwe supports the call to capacitate the Africa Centre for Fertilizer Development, as its mandate includes research in fertiliser and soil health issues. The Summit offers an opportunity to revitalise and strengthen the centre and through it, support research and development of fertilizers in Africa.

“The centre has a role to play in the implementation of the Ten-Year Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan. In this regard, my delegation also takes this opportunity to appeal to Member States who are yet to sign and ratify the Convention Establishing the Africa Centre for Fertilizer Development, to prioritise and consider doing so. The Convention is available for signature at this Summit.

“The African Development Bank’s Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism should be supported to increase funding for fertilizer production on the continent and to assist more countries to produce fertilisers and its value chain. It is also important to promote and facilitate Public Private Partnerships in this area as it will result in huge benefits for our economies and enhance local production of mineral fertilizers,” he said.

Kenya has already ratified protocols that will focus on supporting the African Centre for Fertiliser Production financially.

The African Union also pledged to fully operationalise the Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism to improve production, procurement and distribution of fertilisers on the continent.

On soil health, the Summit committed to reverse land degradation and restore soil health on at least 30 percent of degraded soil by 2034.

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