AWORKSHOP to ensure quality standards and control in fertilizer value has been held in Accra.
The two-day workshop, put together by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) drew 50 participants from 13 African countries who shared experiences and set targets on fertilizer quality control regulations.
It offered opportunities for cross projects and country partnership to ensure the development of good fertilizer control systems in and across countries.
Food and Agric Minister, Clement Kofi Humado, charged participants to make the legal and regulatory framework which
regulates manufacturing, processing, importation and sale of fertilizers to take centre stage on Africa’s development agenda.
The Agric Minister admonished all African countries to adopt measures to facilitate timely access to quality fertilizers by smallholder farmers to address issues relating to fertilizer quality.
‘The average use of fertilizer in Africa was about 5-8 kilogrammes (kg) per hectare, which is below the recommendation agreed upon at the Abuja African Union Summit in 2006. Ghana’s consumption of fertilizer is growing rapidly due to the subsidy programme government has instituted to increase access to fertilizer by smallholder farmers,’ the Minister said.
He added, ‘Ghana had benefited from the interventions of AGRA through technical and financial support to promote government agricultural policies and programmes.
African farmers needed quality agricultural inputs, particularly quality fertilizers and high-yielding crops varieties to make an impact in ensuring self-reliance and food security.’
Director of Soil Health Programme at AGRA, Bashir Jama, revealed that the outcome of the workshop was expected to bring relief to farmers who have been denied sub-standard fertilizer products by some producers, importers and sellers on the continent.
‘Through Integrated Soil Fertility Management technologies, it is imperative that fertilizer products are of required quality standards in order not to destroy the soil that sustains the life of plants,’ he said.
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