General News of Sunday, 11 September 2016
Limited access to financing for investment in the fertilizer sector has been blamed for the fertilizer value chain in West Africa.
Based on this backdrop, a workshop on Financial Mechanisms for the Fertilizer Value Chain in West Africa Validation has been held to find a lasting solution to these bottlenecks.
The workshop under the auspices of USAID West Africa Fertilizer Program (WAFP), in collaboration with ECOWAS on the theme: ‘Vetting of Existing Financial Models Suitable for the Fertilizer Value Chain in ECOWAS’ brought together 60 delegates from regional fertilizer companies and leading financial institutions in West Africa.
Additional participants included high-level officials from ECOWAS and USAID.
Presentations and discussions at this workshop centered on how to promote access to financing on a platform that is accessible to all stakeholders in the West Africa fertilizer value chain, and to vet the adapted financial models.
Speaking at the event, Chief Compliance Officer, African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), Cecilia Khupe cited poor awareness of available financing options, scarcity of guaranteed funds for fertilizer investments as some of the challenges faced by fertilizer stakeholders in the sub-region.
She indicated that, as part of its responsibilities under WAFP, the Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) has collected and compiled four (4) proven agricultural financing models used in Africa and elsewhere, that have been modified and adapted to help solve access to financing on working capital challenges and enable increases in the fertilizer trade across West Africa.
“The purpose of the Workshop is to validate (positively or negatively) the cases and select those financial models, which will be most adaptable to fertilizer in the ECOWAS region,” the WAFP said.
At the end of the workshop, Cecilia Khupe they hope to increase productivity and revenue for those in the fertilizer business and the smallholder famers across the sub-region.