Fertiliser rescue package for African countries amidst the impact of Russia and Ukraine war on food security: What’s going on?

Do you comprehend the meaning behind the announcement? Nourishment scarcity in Africa has increased massively with a staggering shortage of approximately 30 million metric tons of food, including staple crops like wheat, maize, and soybeans, following Russia’s uproar against Ukraine.

Amidst the persistent uncertainty of fertiliser supplies from Russia, nine African countries, namely Zimbabwe, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Kenya, Senegal and Zambia, are set to benefit from the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) African Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM) this year.

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The AFFM, which is an extension of the AfDB’s African Emergency Food Production Facility, launched last year in response to the food supply disruption situation, is expected to provide credit schemes totalling $9.7 million (about R187 million) and strengthen the fertiliser sector through sustainable policy reforms that improve fertiliser production, trade and usage whilst supporting access to finances and technical assistance for smallholder farmers.

The AFFM also plans to enhance soil quality, improve agricultural output, and ensure adequate fertiliser application through various means, such as loan guarantee projects and capacity building for farmers and distributors, alongside collaborating with the International Fertiliser Development Centre and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

Furthermore, the policy on fertiliser in at least ten African nations will be examined in-depth, with a comprehensive plan of action prepared to address the identified gaps. Senegal and Zambia’s benefits hinge on their reception of the $15 million commitment promised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the AFFM. The main beneficiaries of the AFFM are the smallholder farmers, while the country suppliers will gain access to capital.

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