AFAP, COMESA sign MOU to boost agricultural productivity

25 Mar 2013

The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA).  The MOU will mark and officialise the cooperation between the two organizations in developing input markets in east and southern Africa with a focal focus on fertilizer.

The MOU was signed at the AFAP headquarters by AFAP’s President and CEO, Jason Scarpone, and COMESA’s Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya.

Argent Chuula, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer for the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) was also present at the signing.

Through the MOU, the two organizations will collaborate on issues aimed at facilitating and supporting   accessibility, affordability and investments in the fertilizer sector in the region and promote efficient use of fertilizer for increased agricultural productivity by small holder farmers.

“This is a great opportunity for AFAP,” said Scarpone, “These linkages and partnerships allow AFAP to progress its missions of working with agribusinesses to create food security,” he said.

“I am confident that this initiative will be a big opportunity for smallholder farmers, we need to continually ask ourselves what all these signatures mean for the smallholder farmers,” Scarpone said.

The MOU will allow AFAP and COMESA to work together to identify and encourage private sector investment opportunities in the fertilizer value chain. Ngwenya said he was confident that this partnership will elevate the missions of both organizations.

“It is through this practical partnership that we can reach our goals,” he said.  Adding that the importance of this partnership would be in the way it makes an impact on ground.

According to Ngwenya, this joint effort will also allow the organizations to reach out to policy-makers for reforms at grassroots level.  “We need to change how things have been done when it comes to farm inputs especially fertilizer,” Ngwenya said.

“We need to use our resources efficiently in working together to bring change and food security,” Ngwenya said, “This partnership holds a lot of promise because of the shared vision.”