South Africa, 10 August 2021: The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and Fertilizer Canada are launching a new initiative to support smallholder sub-Saharan African farmers, particularly women and youth. The planned interventions will see a marked improvement in socio-economic well-being and income earning potential for over 80,000 smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Senegal. This collaborative effort is part of the Global Affairs Canada-funded 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ the Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place ®) project in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Senegal being implemented by Fertilizer Canada and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada.
The partnership will run for three years with the possibility of an extension depending on the results. During this period, AFAP and Fertilizer Canada will design agriculture interventions that incorporate the 4R Nutrient Stewardship, a Canadian concept.
“Fertilizer Canada is pleased to be partnering with AFAP in creating new opportunities for smallholder farmers by advancing sustainable and resilient agriculture practices”, says Clyde Graham, Executive Vice President at Fertilizer Canada. “The 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework helps farmers to maximize yield and economic benefit while minimizing environmental concerns related to agriculture. Fertilizer Canada will bring agronomic knowledge and training on board as they work with AFAP to adopt the 4R’s to African conditions.”
“This collaboration is an opportunity for shared learning between AFAP and Fertilizer Canada. The plan is to integrate the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework with AFAP’s Market Intelligence System (MIS) and Agribusiness Partnership Contract (APC) programs” says Jason Scarpone, President and CEO of AFAP, an independent non-profit organization focused on raising African farm family incomes through improving sustainable fertilizers and fertilizers technology.
Both MIS and APC have to date, trained farming communities, linked and developed hub-and-spoke networks of 420 wholesale distributors with over 6,000 retail networks entirely serving 7.5 million smallholder farmers across 8 countries (Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria).
“We will focus on strengthening women’s leadership in agricultural cooperatives, improve access to productive resources, and promote best practices in integrated soil fertility management and conservation agriculture”, says Sandra Pires, Director of Agribusiness Programs at AFAP.
Adopting the 4R principles will boost Africa’s agricultural productivity and farm income while increasing crop resilience to climate change. By making sustainable fertilizers and fertilizers technology an integral part of farm practices, the projects will strengthen rural development, increase food security, and improve competitiveness for small-holder farmers in the Sub Saharan Africa regions particularly in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Senegal.