The East and Southern Africa region has 22 countries, and 10 of which the International Monetary Fund considers to be some of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, with this economic growth the region continues to be plagued by malnutrition, hunger and poverty. The region like so many in the continent still has vast amounts of arable land but due to low agricultural productivity and poor soil management the population, agriculture has not ameliorated poverty and hunger for the rural poor where 70% of the population resides.
Therefore, investing in improved agricultural production is vital to the region's economic transformation to bring lasting solutions to alleviate poverty and achieving food security on the continent. The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), in collaboration with the Alliance for Commodity Trade on East and Southern Africa (ACTESA) has established the East and Southern Africa Fertilizer Trade Platform (ESAF) to facilitate and coordinate enhanced private sector investment and participation in the procurement and distribution of fertilizer in the region.
The platform is a partnership between the public sector (COMESA), private sector and civil society that have an interest in Africa's agricultural growth and shared prosperity by increasing food security, reducing poverty and hunger, improving farmer productivity, use of low cost fertilizer, and increased incomes.
The program's competitive edge is its unparalleled partnership of public-private sector and development agencies focused on the regional fertilizer sector growth. The program has the support of COMESA, USAID, AFAP and its partners. This collaborative approach provides a one-stop-shop for agencies, companies and organizations interested in removing policy barriers to trade and investment in the sector and building markets necessary to increase fertilizer users and usage. This collaboration and buy-in will make ESAF Trade Platform the region's premier focal point for trade discussion, policy initiatives, business-to-business networking and development work.
Provide a platform for public-private dialogue and action to scale-up the commercial supply and distribution of fertilizer in the region.
To enhance crop production and rural incomes by increasing smallholder access to less costly, appropriate, quality fertilizers in a timely manner through the creation, growth and strengthening of medium-scale fertilizer and agribusiness enterprises that provide an alternative to traditional subsidy programs.
To take fertilizer procurement and distribution to scale in East and Southern Africa by issuing 500 APCs to create, grow or strengthen medium-scale fertilizer and agribusiness enterprises within the COMESA region.
- Create a Conducive Policy Environment: To identify and work to remove policy and regulatory barriers to trade and investment to boost investor confidence in the Fertilizer and Agribusiness Industry
- Increase Investment: Identify investment opportunities in the fertilizer and agribusiness industry and facilitate foreign and domestic investment
- Network Development: To provide a platform for informative and interactive sessions with the fertilizer industry sector across various spheres including government, decision-makers, policy makers, industry leaders, academia and potential investors.
- Knowledge Sharing: Promote dialogue, share knowledge, lessons learned and good practices among public, private and civil society stakeholders
- Market Intelligence: Provide market information and research intelligence to the network on the fertilizer industry in the region, continentally and globally
- Linkages to Public Sector: To encourage and facilitate beneficial Public Private Investment Partnerships to enable private sector to become a driver of catalytic partnerships and innovative solutions to develop a sustainable and competitive fertilizer value-chain in the region
- B2B Linkages: Identify and facilitate business to business (B2B) and match-making opportunities throughout the supply chain in the region to increase regional trade
- Access to Finance: Accessing business finance particularly credit, credit guarantees, DFI financing, matching grants and risk management products to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the market to grow and flourish
- Project Design and Implementation: Provide technical assistance to the network for the design and implementation of public-private investment partnerships
- The ESAF Trade Platform will provide research, business linkage and relationship services to contribute to the development of investment and commercial opportunities for participating member companies, pursuing of potential projects, and allowing engagement between public and private sector.