IFDC Report, Volume 37, No. 4

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This report provides an overview of the work and progress of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) in Africa. The IFDC has adopted a broad approach to empower targeted participants and create centers of excellence, focusing on capacity development and entrepreneurship. The report highlights the concept of empowerment within the Center of Agricultural Systems and Entrepreneurship (CASE) framework, emphasizing the importance of enabling individuals to control their fate and advocating for change within the agricultural sector. The report further explores agribusiness clusters' role and significance in building agricultural value chains. It discusses the need to link farmers with various stakeholders, such as farmer organizations, agro-dealers, and financial institutions, to ensure sustainable and inclusive agricultural development. By strengthening these value chains, smallholder farmers gain access to inputs, markets, and credit, which enhances their business opportunities and independence. Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) is another crucial component discussed in the report. ISFM addresses the issue of soil fertility, a major cause of food insecurity in Africa. By combining mineral fertilizers with locally available organic amendments, ISFM improves soil nutrient levels and promotes sustainable agricultural practices. The report emphasizes the importance of transferring ISFM methods to farmers and highlights IFDC's success in introducing these techniques to African farmers. The report also highlights the significance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in agricultural development. PPPs bring together public-sector institutions and private-sector organizations to accomplish shared objectives that cannot be achieved individually. The report provides examples of successful PPPs, such as IFDC's partnership with the cassava processing industry, which has created opportunities for smallholder farmers to access reliable markets and sell their produce at pre-established prices. Additionally, the report introduces the 2SCALE project, which focuses on developing competitive agribusiness clusters and value chains in Africa. The project involves private sector engagement to increase agricultural production and improve livelihoods for smallholder producers. By partnering with large-scale private sector companies and expanding to new countries, 2SCALE aims to demonstrate business effectiveness in the African agro-food sector and ensure value chain sustainability. To support these efforts, IFDC is implementing market information systems (MIS) to enhance agricultural stakeholders' access to accurate and up-to-date market data. Mobile applications like the farms' platform enable efficient communication and coordination within agricultural value chains.
Greenhouse gas emissions, Value chains, Public-Private Partnerships, Agricultural sector