Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto who currently is the Chairman of the ECOWAS CTMS Agriculture, has indicated the region has some deficit of fertilizers which needs to be mobilized quickly along the identified corridors and distributed to farmers.
This was revealed during the meeting of the Specialised Sub-Committee on Agriculture on Fertiliser supply, facilitation of cross border food and agricultural input transactions, in West Africa and the Sahel, Thursday, June 2.
The chairman of the committee revealed a deficit of more than 2 million metric tonnes of fertilizer was available and also insisted on the need to obtain the commitment of the countries, particularly the joint commitment in each country of the Ministers in charge of Agriculture and Finance to judiciously exploit the opportunities and financing facilities offered by the international financial institutions, EBID.
He called for the acceleration of all activities, particularly the expression of needs and the formulation of requests to start discussions with suppliers and banks with a view to making up for the delay already recorded in relation to the start of the 2022 agricultural season.
He indicated “In Ghana, for example, the Government is hopeful that it will be able to catch up with the first and second cropping seasons in the northern and southern regions respectively.”
Dr. Akoto urged the ministers to come up with realistic solutions to avoid or at best mitigate the looming food crisis.
On his part, The ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Sékou Sangaré insisted on the implementation of the decisions of the Ministerial session on May 19, 2022.
He then drew the attention of the members to the seriousness of the situation and the opportunities for financing the supply of fertilizers and other fertilizers offered by EBID and private sector actors through WAFA.
He invited the Ministers present to assess the fertilizer situation in their respective countries, express their needs and accelerate the process of formulating financing requests to EBID, taking into account, if necessary, the coverage of private sector claims on the State.
Pursuant to the roadmap adopted on May 19, 2022, the objective of the Sub-Committee meeting was to ensure that its members were aware of its mandate to mobilize all 15 member countries in the implementation of the initiative launched on May 19, 2022, and to work towards the establishment of an urgent mechanism for the supply of fertilizers to farmers in the region for the 2022 agricultural season and, to promote discussions for a solid basis for virtuous cooperation between governments, the private sector, financing banks notably EBID, AfDB, and others.
A round table discussion among the participants allowed the Ministers present or their representatives to give a comprehensive overview of the fertiliser supply situation in their countries.
Other key participants of the meeting were Professor Balde Moussa, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Infrastructure of the Republic of Senegal, Honourable Dr Abubakarr Karimu, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Honourable Mrs. Jeanine Cooper, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Liberia, Dr. Kwaido Mohamed Sani, representing the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Dramé Boubacar, Technical Advisor and representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment of the Republic of Senegal and the consultant Njack KANE.