West African leaders have affirmed their commitment to accelerate investments and reforms to make fertilizers more accessible and affordable during the recent high-level roundtable jointly organized by the World Bank, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Togolese government.
During the event (31 May), held in Togo’s capital, Lome, industry leaders and development partners from the Economic Community of West Africa Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP) reaffirmed their commitments to the development of an innovative and integrated approach for sustainable soil fertility management. The World Bank Group has announced an additional 1.5 billion dollars by 2024, on top of the 4 billion already committed and under implementation to 5.5 billion dollars. It includes continued support for reforms needed to improve soil health and strengthen the fertilizer sector in terms of subsidy management, quality control and traceability through policy development operations and green fertilizer production projects. The Netherlands also pledged 100 million euros to support the sector in West Africa over the next decade.
“Through the adoption of a common roadmap, ECOWAS countries are committing to improve access to mineral and organic fertilizers for smallholder farmers, with a focus on crops that ensure food security and sovereignty for people and the implementation of the priority actions,” said Omar Alieu Touray, ECOWAS Commission President. In a call to strengthen the resilience of agricultural and food systems, regional leaders also approved a declaration covering a series of concrete objectives and measures, including the tripling the consumption of fertilizers and doubling agricultural production by 2035 by adopting an integrated approach to land management and soil health restoration; improving access to mineral and organic fertilizers for small-scale farmers; and adopting policy measures to facilitate access and use of fertilizers by eliminating customs duties and taxes.
Source: North Africa Post