IFDC urges free movement of fertilizer in West Africa
As in West Africa within the next three months, IFDC is urging governments and ministers of agriculture in the 15 ECOWAS states to release any restrictions on fertilizer importation, distribution and use by agricultural producers for the duration of the pandemic.
IFDC recently sent a letter to ECOWAS encouraging partners to “work together to maintain agricultural production capacity in the subregion” as the farming season is approaching.
The basis for this urging is not only the expected food shortage but the declaration during the 2006 Africa Fertilizer Summit that “fertilizer, [from] both inorganic and organic sources, [is] a strategic product without borders”. Without the free flow of plant nutrients, crops and humans alike are risking malnutrition. Farmers, in particular, are in danger of not being able to supply markets with nutritious crops, causing consumers, as well, to suffer.
This recommendation applies to port activities (imports, exports), industrial activities (manufacturing or blending), logistics (domestic transport and intra-regional trade), and commercial activities (rights of distributors and retailers to continue to supply agricultural producers with fertilizers).
IFDC takes a full view of the danger to the entire agricultural system and also notified ECOWAS that the organization will continue partnering with CORAF and CILSS to enable West African producers to be able to access seeds and appropriate crop protection products.
IFDC and its partners remain ready to assist not only ECOWAS but other partners in responding to the threats to agricultural systems around the world during this time, while respecting security measures set in place to stem the spread of the virus.