IDH, AFAP, together with twenty industry partners from the cocoa sector will join resources to develop the agro-input markets in West Africa, under the â€˜Cocoa Fertilizer Initiative.â€™Â The Initiative will work towards making the sector mature, transparent and competitive to ensure that smallholder cocoa farmers have easier access to fertilizer and other farm inputs.
â€œAgriculture is currently the biggest GDP contributor in the continent, and many still look to it for income and livelihood,â€ said AFAP president and CEO, Jason Scarpone.
â€œWith this being the year of agriculture and food security, emphasis should really be on ensuring that smallholder farmers get access to affordable, socially and environmentally sustainable farming inputsâ€”especially fertilizer.â€
Through this initiative, the partners are hoping to build a market significant enough to attract private sector investment by extracting successful fertilizer distribution models at farm level.
â€œAFAP working with IDH will be the bridge between fertilizer suppliers and buyers in addition, will develop greater efficiencies along the fertilizer value chain,â€ Scarpone said.
â€œAFAP recognizes the need to have flexible partnerships to support countries outside of the target countries. This assistance is provided in areas where the support will have greatest impact either through government commitments, market circumstances or synergies gained from the regional nature of supply,â€ added Scarpone