IFDC Publications

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    Soil Nutrients: The Key to Meeting the Triple Global Challenge of Food and Nutrition Security, Climate, and Biodiversity
    (2021-07-14) Bindraban, Prem S.; R. Groot; Upendra Sighn
    This article discusses the critical role of soil nutrients, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and other micronutrients, in addressing the global challenges of food and nutrition security, climate change, and biodiversity. The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) emphasizes the importance of soil health and plant nutrition, especially in the context of the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). The article highlights the need to raise awareness about soil nutrients, particularly in Africa, where soil nutrient deficiencies are prevalent. It also addresses the excessive or inadequate use of mineral fertilizers and emphasizes the importance of efficient nutrient management. The article concludes by advocating for collective investments in soil health and the development of smart fertilizers to support sustainable and profitable food production in Africa.
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    Agricultural Transformation, Developments, and Strategies in Africa
    (2022-08-04) Oumou Camara; Bindraban, Prem S.; William Adzawla
    This article discusses agricultural transformation, developments, and strategies in Africa, highlighting the challenges and opportunities facing the continent. It examines the importance of agricultural development in Africa's economy and its role in achieving food security and reducing poverty. Despite various initiatives and commitments by African countries and international organizations, progress in agricultural transformation has been slow. The article emphasizes the need for sustainable approaches to address challenges such as land degradation, climate change, and inefficient fertilizer use. It also calls for improved infrastructure, technology adoption, and policy support to boost agricultural productivity and ensure food security for Africa's growing population.
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    Seed Policy Reforms in Zambia
    (2020-03-01) Nagarajan, L.; A. Naseem; Carl E. Pray
    This study highlights the critical role of technological change in raising agricultural productivity to enhance farm incomes, alleviate rural poverty, and sustain economic growth. It emphasizes the underutilization of technology, particularly improved varieties (IVs), in many countries, with a specific focus on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The study traces historical impediments to the adoption of new agricultural varieties in SSA, including slow varietal releases, government controls, and policy constraints. Furthermore, it elucidates the pivotal policy shifts in Zambia since the mid-1990s, which transitioned the nation from a stagnant public seed industry to a thriving private sector-driven seed market. These reforms, influenced by diverse economic interest groups and research studies, have significantly improved the formal seed system in Zambia. Key metrics demonstrate the competitive maize seed sector, increased variety registrations, maize seed exports, and notable maize yield growth, positioning Zambia as a leader in maize yields within Africa. This transformation underscores the vital role of policy reform and private sector engagement in catalyzing agricultural productivity and economic development in SSA.
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    This War Will Claim More Lives through Hunger in Africa than Violence in Ukraine
    (2022-04-25) Bindraban, Prem S.
    In the opinion piece "This War Will Claim More Lives through Hunger in Africa than Violence in Ukraine," Dr. Prem Bindraban examines the impending humanitarian crisis in Africa due to heightened hunger, potentially outweighing the toll of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The article underscores the vulnerability of African nations, where a significant portion of household income is spent on food, and a quarter of the population struggles with food security. The confluence of factors, including the impact of COVID-19 and disruptions in fertilizer supply due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, threatens to reduce food production by up to a third. The author critiques the historical neglect of African agriculture in favour of raw material export, a stance reinforced by global policies that curtailed agricultural support. As population growth accelerates, the article calls for a holistic approach to agricultural development in Africa, drawing inspiration from successful models in Asia. The importance of reasonable fertilizer use, sustainable land and water management, and international collaboration is emphasized to prevent worsening hunger and foster Europe and Africa's prosperity
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    BoP Markets as a Driver for Inclusive Value Chain and Business Development
    (2017) Hiwot Shimeles; Tekalgn Ayano; Mathias Ahounou
    This paper provides an overview of two partnerships between the GUTS Agro Industry, a nutritious food processing company in Ethiopia, and the 2SCALE consortium in two different contexts: Ethiopia and Benin. The partnerships aimed to develop and offer nutritional food products to base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) markets and improve value chain efficiency. In Ethiopia, the partnership focused on sourcing raw materials (maize and soybean) from smallholder farmers' organizations, improving quality and traceability, and developing a marketing and distribution strategy for a fortified food supplement called Supermom. The partnership improved farmer cooperatives' governance, increased production, reliable sourcing, and reduced costs for GUTS Agro-Industry. A micro-franchise distribution model was also implemented, empowering women as Likie micro-franchisees to sell the products door-to-door. In Benin, the partnership supported soybean producer and processor organizations to improve market development for soybean products, enhance incomes, and promote soybean-based products in the local market. The partnerships showcased the potential collaboration between agribusinesses and smallholder farmers or women processors, leading to improved value chain performance, market access, and socio-economic benefits for the involved stakeholders.