IFDC Report, Volume 35, No. 1
AfricaFertilizer.org is a newly launched global forum designed to disseminate and exchange information on fertilizers, soil fertility, and agricultural issues in Africa. This website is a valuable resource, providing agricultural information to stakeholders involved in the movement towards food self-sufficiency in Africa, including farm organizations, researchers, policymakers, extension specialists, agro-input industry representatives, the private sector, donors, funding agencies, and the media. Partially funded by the Strategic Alliance for Agricultural Development in Africa (SAADA) project of the Netherlands' Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), AfricaFertilizer.org is created and maintained by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). The website offers interactive features like an Africa-wide nutrient depletion map, downloadable publications, news updates, and other crucial information for agricultural intensification. The concept of AfricaFertilizer.org emerged from the Africa Fertilizer Summit and is expected to contribute to the African Green Revolution, supporting the needs of smallholder farmers. IFDC President and CEO Amit H. Roy emphasize the significance of providing accessible information through AfricaFertilizer.org to fuel the agricultural transformation that African farmers urgently require. IFDC operates through various divisions focused on soil nutrient management, agribusiness development, and resource conservation across Africa. These divisions include EurAsia Division (EAD), East and Southern Africa Division (ESAFD), North and West Africa Division (NWAFD), and Research and Development Division (RDD). Furthermore, IFDC is also implementing the Catalyze Accelerated Agricultural Intensification for Social and Environmental Stability (CATALIST) project in Central Africa's Great Lakes Region (CAGLR). CATALIST aims to reinforce peace, environmental stability, and agricultural production by mobilizing local resources and assisting farming communities. The project utilizes sustainable agricultural intensification methodologies, commodity value chain development, and labour-intensive infrastructure improvements to create accessible and profitable agricultural inputs and outputs markets. Notable achievements of the CATALIST project include increased agro-input trade, farmer income opportunities, new technologies, training programs, and the development of value chains. Another initiative called the MIR Plus project (Marketing Inputs Regionally) also focuses on developing a regional agro-input market in West Africa. This project aims to improve farmers' productivity and access to affordable fertilizers, seeds, and crop protection products. By strengthening policy environments, supporting innovative approaches, providing technical and market information, and establishing links between producers' organizations and agro-dealers, MIR Plus aims to increase yields and economic opportunities for farmers in the region. The development of agricultural value chains is identified as a crucial strategy for poverty reduction in rural areas. Value chain development empowers small-scale farmers to participate more effectively in the agro-food industry by linking farmers with processors, marketers, and buyers. Examples from Ghana highlight the positive outcomes achieved by empowering farmers through coaching and facilitating market linkages, leading to increased income and improved livelihoods.
Nutrient depletion, Food security, Agricultural development, Partnerships