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Soaring food prices stress urgency of increasing fertilizer use by African farmers
NEPAD e-Africa Commission and Global Digital Solidarity Fund to work together
lundi 21 avril 2008
par adi

Soaring food prices stress urgency of increasing fertilizer use by African farmers

NEPAD, FAO AND WORLD BANK RESPOND TO GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS At the Africa Fertilizer Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria in June 2006, African Heads of State endorsed the Abuja Declaration on Fertilizers which calls for a substantial increase in average fertilizer use from 8kg/ha to 50kg/ha by 2015. The importance of implementing the Abuja Declaration on Fertilizers has been accentuated by the current global climate of soaring food prices which has translated into increased prices for basic foods for the African consumer.

Global maize and wheat prices have risen by as much as 80% in the past year and the cost of rice has doubled causing countries such as India to ban rice export.

Consequently, food prices faced by the African consumer have increased. For example, in South Africa the cost of wheat has increased by 120% in the past year and the price of maize has more than doubled since the beginning of 2006.

This increase in food prices has achieved what seven years of trade negotiations under the Doha Round failed to do : convince developing countries to reduce import tariffs that protect their farmers, and the United States and the European Union (EU) to reduce or eliminate farm subsidies.

In the wake of high and rising food prices, at least 24 developing countries have reduced duties and value-added taxes, including Burkina Faso which suspended taxes on four food staples in February 2008 after food riots over price increases.

Similarly, due to expectations that food prices will remain high, European Union farm subsidies fell by 10 billion euros between 2004 and 2006 and U.S. Government support to farmers is anticipated to fall this year to less than $8 billion from $13 billion in 2006. (Star newspaper, Johannesburg,15/4/2008).

Key cause : decline in cereal production A key cause of the increase in food prices is the decline in world cereal production by 2% from 2.05 billion tons to 2.01 billion tons between 2005/06 and 2006/07, partly due to drought (related to climate change) which reduced Australia’s wheat crop.

Furthermore, during the same period the world’s cereal reserves have dropped by more than 9% to the lowest level in the past 20 years – from 471 million tons to 428 million tons (IFDC, 2008).

Consequently, world market prices for cereals and cereal products are increasing, as are the prices of livestock products (meat, milk) where maize is used as livestock feed.

These price increases are passed on to consumers in Africa and other developing regions whose staple foods are mostly manufactured from imported maize.

The African Union and NEPAD, with the support of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Bank, have decided to respond to the global food crisis by convening a workshop in May 2008 to support the efforts of countries to develop urgent responses to high food prices and food insecurity through Pillar 3 of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

These solutions will include :

increasing accessibility through the development of a strategic response to cushion the effects of rising food prices in the short to medium term (via price subsidies for example) ;

increasing production to improve the availability of staple foods. This will include the development of programmes and projects to increase accessibility, availability and incentives to use productivity-enhancing inputs such as fertilizers.

These programmatic responses to increase fertilizer use will have to take into account the fact that world market prices of fertilizers have been increasing steadily since 2004, and in 2007 they skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.

The US Gulf is the main source of diammonium phosphate (DAP) which is a popular basal fertilizer for the production of maize in many African countries. The US Gulf price of DAP increased from 252 $/ton in January 2007 to 752 $/ton by January 2008.

The Arab Gulf is the main source of urea for many African countries ; urea is a popular topdressing fertilizer for maize production in Africa, and during this same period the price of urea increased from 272 $/ton to 415 $/ton.

Therefore, during the last year alone, African farmers have faced fertilizer price increases of approximately 200% which has severely dampened their incentive to use this agro-input.

Shift in maize production from food to fuel These unprecedented increases in fertilizer prices are partly due to increased demand for fertilizers in major cereal producing countries that supply the world market, most notably the U.S.

Farmers are applying larger amounts of fertilizers to maximise production of maize and other crops for the production of ethanol and other biofuels. This is because oil prices at over $100 per barrel have increased the incentive to produce grain-based substitutes like biofuel.

Production of maize in the U.S. increased by 24% between 2006 and 2007 to 333 million tons, the largest U.S. maize harvest since 1933, and 18-20% of this maize produced was used for ethanol.

The key reason for this shift in producing maize for food to producing maize for the biofuel industry is that production of maize as a feedstock for the biofuel industry is extremely lucrative. The price of maize increased by 70% between 2006 and 2007 due to the increased demand for maize for biofuel production.

Other contributing factors to the increase in fertilizer prices are an increase in energy and freight prices, more sophisticated demands (grain-fed meat) from increasingly affluent people in the emerging economies of China, India, and Brazil, and an increase in the price of natural gas, a major input for the production of ammonia for nitrogen fertilizers.

These increases in fertilizer prices have placed fertilizers beyond the reach of the average small-scale farmer in Africa. However, these are the farmers Africa will have to rely on for an efficacious supply response that will alleviate the food price crisis. Therefore, these farmers need to be capacitated to use fertilizers in sufficient amounts to generate the required supply response.

One way this can be done in the short-term is via market-friendly safety nets which will enable the inclusion of farmers in the market process without destroying the burgeoning private sector.

This can be done through programmes that transfer purchasing power to needy farmers. That is, instead of giving free or subsidised fertilizers or seed, the targeted farmers can be given input vouchers (for the full or partial value of inputs) that they can exchange for inputs from a dealer in their village or town. The dealer can receive payment from an authorised bank which gets its funds from the government or any other implementing agency such as a donor or non-governmental organisation.

The voucher system is a very effective mechanism that can support both poverty alleviation and market development.

On the one hand, it empowers the farmers to produce more food for their families while facilitating their inclusion in the marketplace. At the same time, it strengthens the market development process by injecting additional purchasing power into the marketing system.

Market-friendly input voucher programme In the long run, African countries will have to develop sustainable agro-input markets that will meet the needs of small-scale farmers by providing them with the right types of quality fertilizers in a timely manner at a price they can afford. This will enable the required increase in domestic food production to reduce Africa’s food import reliance and hence its exposure to the vagaries of the global food markets.

During 2003-2005, the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), an international centre for soil fertility and agricultural development, implemented a market-friendly input voucher programme successfully in Malawi under the “Supporting Productive Livelihoods through Inputs for Assets” (SPLIFA) project. Moreover, initiatives by development partners to establish sustainable input markets are currently underway.

For example, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has launched its AgroDealer Devlopment Programme (ADP) in Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania, which is being implemented by the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs (CNFA). The ADP provides training, capital and credit to establish certified agro-dealers who are a primary conduit of seeds, fertilizers and knowledge to smallholder farmers to increase their productivity and incomes.

IFDC is implementing the Mozambique Agricultural Inputs Markets Strengthening Project (AIMS) to provide technical assistance to improve the efficiency and profitability of private enterprises engaged in agricultural input business activities in order to increase the availability of low-cost fertilizers.

With the support and facilitation of the AU and NEPAD, African governments in partnership with development partners should encourage the implementation of such programme to improve farmer access to fertilizers and other inputs, particularly for smallholder farmers located in the rural interiors of Africa.

The sharp rise in the price of mineral fertilizer prices has led for calls in some quarters for the exclusive use of organic fertilizers. However, relying solely on organic sources of plant nutrients is not feasible, nor is it desirable.

Technology to improve efficiency of fertilizer use What is required is a technology that will improve the efficiency of fertilizer use (yield of grain per kilogram of fertilizer nutrient applied) and thus the profitability of using this agro-input by small holder farmers in Africa.

Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) is such a technology. It combines organic and inorganic sources of plant nutrients (mineral fertilizers which have been chemically processed to meet crop needs, crop residues, livestock manure, phosphate rock, and lime) as soil amendments to produce higher yields.

The African Division of IFDC has applied ISFM to improve soil fertility for 150,000 farmers in West Africa and is expanding the application of this technology to reach 10 million farmers through a four- year project, “From Thousands to Millions”, which was started in 2006.

The project builds on its experiences with ISFM to promote agricultural intensification and strengthen the integration of farmers and local entrepreneurs.

This has become known as the “Competitive Agricultural Systems and Enterprises” (CASE) approach, and focuses on agribusiness clusters consisting of the farmers, entrepreneurs, technical, financial and business development services that are involved in a particular commodity within a well-defined target region.

Further expansion of this approach throughout Africa should be undertaken to enable farmers to increase yields and build stronger linkages with input and output markets, while protecting the environment. Source : NEPAD, april 21, 2008

NEPAD-Spanish Women’s Fund

The NEPAD Secretariat would like to announce the extension of the deadline for applications for the position of Portuguese-speaking Project Manager for the NEPAD-Spanish Women’s Empowerment Fund to 30 April 2008. All candidates who meet the requirements are invited to apply for the position via the NEPAD website, where the job description and application procedure are described.

The NEPAD Secretariat would also like to thank all organisations that submitted the required funding documentation in time. Your speedy response is greatly appreciated.

There are, however, a number of organisations with whom communication has been difficult and from whom the required documentation has not yet been received. These organisations are :

African Centre for Empowerment Gender ; CLEAR ; NEPAD Country Structures ; African Union Commission ; COMESA, ECOWAS, SADC, ECCAS, CENSAD, ECA, IGAD ; AFFRO ; African Leadership Institute ; Fund for African Women ; Lubelo Rural Development Foundation ; Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Synod of Livingstonia ; Women for Women Foundation ; Women’s Bureau (Ministry) ; Women and Children Affairs ; Young Women Facilitators Promoting Employment for Young Persons, Rwanda ; Jewels of Faith Academy Learning Centre, Nigeria ; Women of Liberia Peace Network ; Women of Uganda Network ; Ligue Africaine Pour la Non-Violence Active, Burundi ; YEYA Agricole, Cote d’Ivoire. Source : NEPAD, april 21, 2008

NEPAD e-Africa Commission and Global Digital Solidarity Fund to work together

The NEPAD e-Africa Commission and the Global Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 17 April 2008 to collaborate in bridging the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world and within the continent.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Henry Chasia, Executive Deputy Chairperson of the NEPAD e-African Commission and Alain Clerc, Executive Secretary of the DSF.

The MoU creates a framework for the two parties to collaborate in supporting activities related to ICT development and will contribute to the building of an information society by promoting and facilitating equitable and affordable access to ICTs in Africa.

Says Dr. Henry Chasia : "Both the commission and DSF have made history that will have a positive impact in bridging the digital divide in Africa. The commission will definitely benefit by increasing its resources base for its various ICT undertakings".

It is expected that the MoU will result in substantial support from the DSF to the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative, which is now going into the roll-out stage.

Says Alain Clerc : "Specifically, the Global Digital Solidarity Fund is looking at helping the NEPAD e-Africa Commission in the areas of ICT infrastructure development ; e-services and applications ; and human capacity building. The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative is definitely one of the key areas where strong collaboration could be developed".

The Commission and DSF will identify common projects in ICT development and will collaborate in fundraising activities, by facilitating contact with regional stakeholders, including governments, development banks, local authorities and companies.

The commission and the DSF will also jointly explore innovative financial mechanisms to reduce the digital divide, including the promotion of the DSF "1% digital solidarity principle". This innovative financing mechanism, which may be adopted voluntarily, is a 1% contribution on public ICTs procurement contracts.

The NEPAD e-Africa Commission is the ICT task team mandated by the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee to develop policies, strategies and projects at continental level as well as manage the structured development of the ICT sector in the context of NEPAD.

The Geneva-based Global Digital Solidarity Fund is a global financing foundation which strives to reduce the digital divide, to put information and communication technologies at the service of human development and to build a solidarity-based and inclusive information society. It was created during the Geneva Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in December 2003, following a NEPAD proposal. Source : NEPAD, april 21, 2008

 

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    28 septembre 2007

  214. Enhancing ownership and partnership
    28 septembre 2007

  215. NEPAD Calendar of events
    28 septembre 2007

  216. NEPAD - Mozambique : implementation,awareness and ownership
    5 octobre 2007

  217. The NEPAD e-Africa Commission
    5 octobre 2007

  218. Calendar of events - NEPAD Agenda
    5 octobre 2007

  219. Successful NEPAD Projects Conference identifies many opportunities
    12 octobre 2007

  220. South Africa spells out its role in NEPAD and a road map for the future
    12 octobre 2007

  221. NEPAD Calendar of events
    15 octobre 2007

  222. Key role of agriculture in reaching Millennium Development Goals
    19 octobre 2007

  223. NEPAD Calendar of events
    19 octobre 2007

  224. High-level meeting praises progress with implementation of CAADP and recommends steps for future action
    19 octobre 2007

  225. Ministers approve $2bn submarine cable to connect Africa – and call for speedy implementation
    19 octobre 2007

  226. Mayor supports Cities programme to make NEPAD happen at the local level
    26 octobre 2007

  227. Burkino Faso and Mali next on Peer Review list
    26 octobre 2007

  228. NEPAD TV schedule
    26 octobre 2007

  229. Calendar of events - NEPAD Agenda
    26 octobre 2007

  230. Implementing Africa’s science and technology plan of action : report spells out the details
    2 novembre 2007

  231. Calendar of events
    2 novembre 2007

  232. NEPAD signs MOU with submarine cable company
    2 novembre 2007

  233. US-Africa Summit will take broad look at investment opportunities and challenges
    5 novembre 2007

  234. NEPAD Gender Task Force recommends changes in APRM reporting
    8 novembre 2007

  235. China to work with NEPAD and African partners on aquaculture research
    8 novembre 2007

  236. NEPAD Calendar of events
    12 novembre 2007

  237. Strong support for small business training for SADC countries
    16 novembre 2007

  238. NEPAD Calendar of events
    19 novembre 2007

  239. Progress in raising funds for NEPAD’s Africa agriculture programme
    23 novembre 2007

  240. "Important milestone" in advancing the Peer Review process in Africa
    23 novembre 2007

  241. NEPAD Calendar of events
    26 novembre 2007

  242. NEPAD TV schedule
    30 novembre 2007

  243. NEPAD Nigeria busy on wide range of projects and programmes
    30 novembre 2007

  244. Connect Africa launched to boost ICT projects backed by $55-billion
    30 novembre 2007

  245. Central Africa ready for scaling-up rice and cassava production
    10 décembre 2007

  246. NEPAD-Spanish fund for the empowerment of women calls for proposals
    7 décembre 2007

  247. NEPAD Calendar of events
    10 décembre 2007

  248. International support for top-level conference on budgeting in Africa
    14 décembre 2007

  249. NEPAD Calendar of events
    17 décembre 2007

  250. NEPAD : a look at seven years of achievement – and the challenges on the way forward
    25 janvier 2008

  251. NEPAD Calendar of events
    25 janvier 2008

  252. NEPAD Calendar of events
    1er février 2008

  253. Private sector spells out support for African Union
    1er février 2008

  254. BRAINCHILD OF NEPAD BUSINESS FOUNDATION
    8 février 2008

  255. NEPAD TV schedule
    8 février 2008

  256. Japan to host TICAD IV in May 2008, the G8 Summit in July 2008 and the 10th APF on 7-8 April 2008
    9 février 2008

  257. NEPAD : Vacancy for gender consultant
    17 février 2008

  258. Update on the African Fertilizer Summit and the way ahead for the Green Revolution
    15 février 2008

  259. Success of the NEPAD programme and its contribution to Africa
    22 février 2008

  260. NEPAD Calendar of events
    22 février 2008

  261. NEPAD TV schedule
    3 mars 2008

  262. NEPAD-Spanish Women’s Fund
    3 mars 2008

  263. NEPAD TV schedule
    7 mars 2008

  264. Uganda completes the final stages of its Peer Review
    7 mars 2008

  265. NEPAD-Spanish Fund : Progress
    14 mars 2008

  266. NEPAD Calendar of events
    14 mars 2008

  267. NEPAD Calendar of events
    20 mars 2008

  268. International media summit on the re-branding of Africa
    20 mars 2008

  269. NEPAD-Spanish Fund : progress with interviews
    29 mars 2008

  270. African Bank chief puts top priority on water access and sanitation
    29 mars 2008

  271. Soaring food prices pose serious threat to food and nutrition security
    29 mars 2008

  272. Important role for Africa’s media in the development of the continent
    4 avril 2008

  273. NEPAD “training the trainer” seminar
    4 avril 2008

  274. NEPAD TV schedule
    11 avril 2008

  275. NEPAD Calendar of events
    11 avril 2008

  276. NEPAD Calendar of events
    21 avril 2008

  277. Soaring food prices stress urgency of increasing fertilizer use by African farmers
    21 avril 2008

  278. NEPAD e-Schools praised as the key to bridging the digital divide in Africa
    25 avril 2008

  279. NEPAD Calendar of events
    25 avril 2008

  280. Regional training workshop on science and technology
    6 mai 2008

  281. NEPAD Calendar of events
    6 mai 2008

  282. NEPAD looks at African agriculture for answers to crisis problems of high food prices
    16 mai 2008

  283. NEPAD conference shows the way to promote tourism in Africa
    16 mai 2008

  284. Africa Day - 25 May, 2008 : Message from the AU and NEPAD
    23 mai 2008

  285. Strengthening the links between Canada, NEPAD and the AU
    23 mai 2008

  286. NEPAD TV schedule
    30 mai 2008

  287. NEPAD Calendar of events
    30 mai 2008

  288. African Ministers to discuss NEPAD Environment Plan
    6 juin 2008

  289. "Green Revolution" aims to double Africa’s rice production in next 10 years
    6 juin 2008

  290. Historic moment” : first meeting to integrate NEPAD into AU
    13 juin 2008

  291. Donors increase financial support for NEPAD infrastructure facility
    27 juin 2008

  292. Chairman outlines reforms to boost performance of the AU Commission
    4 juillet 2008

  293. NEPAD Secretariat and AfDB discuss closer collaboration
    11 juillet 2008

  294. NEPAD’s CAADP is key in Africa’s response to high food prices
    18 juillet 2008

  295. NEPAD Calendar of events
    28 juillet 2008

  296. Helping African countries achieve their development objectives through CDSF
    1er août 2008

  297. Aid - who accounts to whom and on whose terms ?
    15 septembre 2008

  298. Work starts on NEPAD submarine cable to be ready for FIFA 2010
    20 septembre 2008

  299. New President of South Africa takes over from Thabo Mbeki
    29 septembre 2008

  300. AU chief calls for more CAADP financing and fast-tracking
    10 octobre 2008

  301. As daily life improves at the grassroots NEPAD is there
    11 octobre 2008

  302. Africa’s partners must not renege on development support, says UN General Assembly chief
    18 octobre 2008

  303. UN underlines commitment to AU-NEPAD priority programmes
    25 octobre 2008

  304. EAC, SADC,COMESA to merge into African Economic Community
    2 novembre 2008

  305. Boost for fisheries governance and trade through NEPAD-led Pan-African partnership
    10 novembre 2008

  306. Key role for African media to focus on agriculture and CAADP
    14 novembre 2008

  307. Africa, G8 and OECD identify actions to keep Africa on growth track despite global downturn
    21 novembre 2008

  308. Nigeria investing $85-million to boost local rice production
    28 novembre 2008

  309. President Museveni promises investors free land in Uganda
    12 décembre 2008

  310. NEPAD : Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, former Prime Minister of Niger, now NEPAD CEO, takes office
    21 avril 2009

  311. Gaddafi spells out his vision for NEPAD
    13 mai 2009

  312. Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki leads NEPAD delegation to APF
    4 juin 2009

  313. African Ministers renew their commitments to CAADP
    27 juin 2009

  314. AU/NEPAD integration on track for finalization by July 2009
    7 juillet 2009

  315. A new African Civil Society network to promote SLM
    28 juillet 2009

  316. Togo signs CAADP Compact
    31 juillet 2009

  317. Mayaki calls on Ghana to align country’s priorities with NEPAD’s capacity development framework
    11 août 2009

  318. Addis Ababa : High-level session of Africa Partnership Forum (APF)
    27 août 2009

  319. NEPAD kick-starts project aimed at improving businesses that are run by women
    20 septembre 2009

  320. NEPAD zeroes in on Skills Development
    15 septembre 2009

  321. NEPAD : Global Financial Institutions must be Democratized, South Africa says at UN debate
    23 septembre 2009

  322. NEPAD’s biosafety receives boost from the Gates Foundation
    15 octobre 2009

  323. NEPAD : “Our Focus is on implementation “ , says Mayaki
    19 octobre 2009

  324. The NEPAD Transport Summit & Africa Expo
    28 octobre 2009

  325. Le 3eme Forum UE-Afrique soutient l’initiative des e-Ecoles
    15 octobre 2009

  326. NEPAD’s biosafety receives boost from the Gates Foundation
    15 octobre 2009

  327. Liberia signs CAADP Compact
    16 octobre 2009

  328. Africa-wide Conference to Discuss Strategies to Boost Agricultural Development
    23 novembre 2009

  329. NEPAD - Transport Summit in South Africa
    24 novembre 2009

  330. African leaders strengthen NEPAD – as it transforms into an implementing Agency
    3 février 2010

  331. Action plan to boost African countries’ progress in pharmaceutical innovation
    22 février 2010

  332. Commission for Social Development, Concluding Session, Adopts Text On Social Dimensions of NEPAD
    11 mars 2010

  333. NEPAD : Uganda signs Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Compact
    31 mars 2010

  334. Kampala : Ouverture sous haute sécurité du XVe sommet de l’UA
    25 juillet 2010

  335. Dure fin de sommet de l’Union africaine à Kampala
    3 août 2010

  336. The NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Summit, 13-15 October, 2010 Johannesburg (South Africa)
    12 juillet 2010

  337. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development is 10 years old - NEPAD at the Crossroads
    9 mars 2011

  338. Union africaine : Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma : un nouveau départ ?
    21 mai 2013

  339. 3rd EU- Africa Business Forum Supports the e-Schools Initiative
    15 octobre 2009