IFDC Report, Volume 11, No. 2

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This report summarizes the outcomes of the African Workshop on Fertilizer Sector Development, which aimed to improve the cost-effectiveness of various components of national fertilizer sectors in Africa. The workshop brought together senior-level administrators from 18 African countries to formulate action guidelines for enhancing the efficiency of yield-increasing technology transfer, involving farmers in problem-solving, and integrating research, extension, and marketing in successful fertilizer programs. The delegates identified constraints to fertilizer marketing, such as low margins, transportation, and financing, and proposed solutions to develop a cost-effective marketing system. Additionally, they addressed problems hindering efficient fertilizer use by farmers, including high marketing costs and inadequate information. They recommended overcoming these challenges through an integrated fertilizer marketing, research, and extension system. The report highlights the perspectives of delegates from various countries, including Kenya and Sudan, who shared their experiences, ideas, and plans for implementing workshop recommendations in their respective nations. Furthermore, the report mentions a 2-day field tour in the southern United States, where delegates visited catfish farms, extension programs, and research stations to gather insights applicable to African crops. The workshop's success was attributed to the participation of internationally renowned agricultural experts and the support of organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme. The report also briefly discusses a separate project conducted in Bangladesh, which focused on improving fertilizer distribution and affordability for farmers. Lastly, the report outlines a fertilizer sector study conducted in Cameroon, which proposed an integrated marketing and supply system to address existing constraints. It suggests transferring the management of the subsidized fertilizer sector to self-supporting commercial organizations, establishing an efficient marketing system, and prioritizing government-wide policies related to soil fertility research, subsidy reduction, and improved crop production and marketing.
Technology transfer, Fertilizers