COMESA Ministers endorse AFAP role in leading a its fertilizer Program.
COMESA Ministers of Agriculture recognize the role of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) in working with the Common Market for East and Southern Africa to eliviate rural hunger and poverty in the region through the implementation of Agribusiness Partnership Contracts (APC) to support rural enterprises in all COMESA Member states.
" The Ministers were informed that COMESA and AFAP have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on fertilizer development in the COMESA region. Fertilizer is a key input in agricultural production, particularly in Africa, where 80% of the populations are engaged. COMESA and AFAP are working together to promote the development of sustainable fertilizer markets and have designed the COMESA Fertilizer Program to specifically increase Private Sector Development and Participation in the region, so as to accelerate the implementation of the Abuja Declaration on Fertilizers.
- The Ministers were further informed that the Program’s goal is to establish more competitive and sustainable markets capable of providing African smallholder farmers with the incentive, initiative and capability to source and use fertilizer to improve crop production and food security. This will be achieved by:
- Engaging and supporting private sector and public/private partnership (PPP) initiatives to identify, enable and deliver improvements in the value chain that will strengthen the value-cost ratio for end user farmers.
- Developing and making available targeted credit and grant facilities to support initiatives and programs identified by private sector and value chain participants that contribute to AFAP goals.
- Assisting private sector and PPP participants through training and mentorship to identify value chain needs and deliver programs that will enable sustainable change.
- Acting as a conduit between private and public sectors to ensure that the goals of all parties are being met and that an enabling environment is developed and maintained to engage participants consistent with the goals of the Abuja Declaration.
- The principal operating mechanism of AFAP will be Agribusiness Partnership Contracts(APCs) under which eligible international, regional or local agribusinesses will apply for AFAP assistance and, in exchange, agree to perform significant market development activities with local farmers and/or agribusiness. This assistance may include management and technical advising, payment and credit guarantees, matching grants, and in-kind investments.
- 4. The Ministers decided that Member States should submit business plans and/or proposals, for agribusiness partnership contracts support to COMESA.
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