More than 150 government officials, fertilizer industry executives and agriculture industry experts gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco, for the launch of the African Fertilizer Volunteer’s Program (AFVP).
The AFVP is an initiative by the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), aimed at mobilizing global expertise in support of increasing smallholder fertilizer users and usage.
Launching the AFVP, Sheila Keino, AFAP’s Program Development Specialist said many fertilizer industry specialists and experts from around the globe would like to volunteer their time towards building the Fertilizer Industry in Africa.
“The AFVP is designed to tap into those along the value chain who are willing to dedicate their time towards strengthening the African fertilizer value chain and in turn, learning from their experiences,” Keino said.
“The AFVP engages public, private and non-governmental stakeholders to support strategic planning, strengthen implementation capacity and test innovative technologies and models with a view to increasing fertilizer users and usage in Africa,” said Keino.
Jason Scarpone, AFAP’s President and CEO said, “The consolidation of global development networks is imperative if continental food security is to be achieved. Scarpone added that through the AFVP, AFAP and IFA are giving interested parties an opportunity to make a contribution to the development of the African fertilizer value chain by sharing their knowledge, time and expertise building the capacity and workforce in Africa.”
The initial roll out will target 5 pilot countries- Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ethiopia but will remain open to requests from other countries.
IFA is a trade association representing the global fertilizer industry, which provides the crop nutrients that allow farmers everywhere to meet the world’s growing food, feed, fiber and bioenergy needs in a sustainable manner. IFA member companies represent all activities related to the production and distribution of every type of fertilizer, their raw materials and intermediates.
“The AFVP provides a great opportunity for both retired practitioners and professionals still engaged in the industry to lend a hand in building a vibrant sustainable fertilizer value chain in Sub-Saharan African countries and, at the same time, for individuals to experience the diversity of cultures and understand the challenges that exist,” Keino said.