African Leaders Encouraged to Enhance Agriculture By Trading With Each Other

African Leaders Encouraged to Enhance Agriculture By Trading With Each Other.
African Leaders Encouraged to Enhance Agriculture By Trading With Each Other.

African heads of state have been prompted to reinforce agricultural productivity by engaging in mutual trade for fertilizers, capitalizing on the continent’s abundant raw materials.

At the African Fertilizer and Soil Health summit in Nairobi, Zambia’s President, Hakainde Hichilema, emphasized the importance of increasing capacity internally rather than relying on external sources.

President Hichilema highlighted the necessity for investment in technology and capital to exploit these resources effectively. Affordability and accessibility of fertilizers remain critical for achieving productivity goals and ensuring food security, as acknowledged by Hichilema.

“We need to invest in our continent to increase capacity by using our raw materials, we the heads of states should include in our minimum requirements buying from each other instead of depending on others to supply us with fertilizer from outside the continent, in Zambia we have already practiced that in fertilizer and other aspects,” said Hichilema.

“Let us invest in the best appropriate technology and correct fair capital which remains valid in these conversations,” He added.

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Kenya’s President William Ruto pointed out Africa’s disproportionate dependency on food imports despite considerable agricultural prospects.

He identified obstacles such as insufficient fertilizer use, extreme weather conditions, and soil degradation as primary challenges to productivity.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, underscored the pressing issue of soil degradation and the AU’s initiatives, including the Soil Initiative for Africa and the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan, aimed at enhancing soil health in line with Africa’s Agenda 2063.

Notably, the average fertilizer use in Africa is considerably below the global average and the target set by the Abuja declaration on Fertilizers for a Green Revolution in Africa, which aimed for 50 kilograms per hectare per year.

Mahamat reiterated the urgent need to utilize existing continental resources, like the African Center for Fertilizer Development in Zimbabwe, to elevate local production and ensure fertilizers are economically viable for African farmers.

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