The AFVP Calls For Private Sector Mobilization

11 Nov 2014

The African Fertilizer Volunteers Program (AFVP) launched a video today calling the private sector to join a volunteer program that will help strengthen the capacity of the African fertilizer value chain.

The volunteers program which was launched last year during the Argus FMB deployed its first volunteer, Lynda Swenson from San Diego,  to Ghana where she worked with two agribusinesses—Sakant Enterprise Limited and Northgate Agro—to provide financial training.

“It has been months since Lynda came to us and our book-keeping skills have greatly improved since then,” Amoah Safo, Managing Director of Sakant Enterprise Limited said. “She was well organized and experienced in agribusiness which made it easier to export her lessons to our shop sustainably.”

Swenson said, “The program offers an avenue for locals to strengthen their capacity by being paired with a expert volunteer and it is also a good opportunity for people who want to explore the African market whilst helping shape a market that can contribute to food security.”

The AFVP is the brain-child of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness partnership (AFAP). The two organizations identified lack of suitable expertise on the ground as one of the challenges facing the fertilizer distribution chain in Africa. AFAP and IFA then developed the AFVP as a channel that would enable skilled practitioners from fertilizer industries around the world to share knowledge and expertise strengthening local fertilizer capacity.

Jason Scarpone, AFAP’s President and CEO said, “The AFVP program supports AFAP’s goal of bolstering fertilizer markets in Africa, and increasing quality fertilizer usage for improved yields for smallholder farmers.”

Scarpone noted that many in the private sector, especially retired C.E.O have had the technical expertise that could greatly benefit the African fertilizer value chain. He highlighted the core of the program as, “knowledge sharing and mutual learning.”

“Fertilizer and other inputs are crucial in securing food for future generations, however to create and reach a sustainable green revolution smallholder farmers need access to quality inputs and extension services. Through the AFVP we are ensuring that the capacity of the value chain is strengthened in benefit of the smallholder farmer,” Scarpone said.