Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit concludes with strategic endorsements

The Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit concluded on May 9, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya, with the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration on Fertilizer and Soil Health. The summit, which drew over 4,000 participants, including 57 ministers of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs, emphasized the need for concerted efforts to restore the nutritional balance of the continent’s soils.

The Nairobi Declaration outlines a comprehensive framework to enhance soil health and fertilizer access through multi-stakeholder partnerships and investments. Key among the adopted strategies is the commitment to triple the domestic production and distribution of certified quality organic and inorganic fertilizers by 2034. This move aims to improve accessibility and affordability for smallholder farmers, who are crucial to the continent’s food security.

Additionally, the summit endorsed a 10-year Action Plan for Fertilizer and Soil Health, the Africa Financing Mechanism (AFFM) for the Action Plan, and the Soil Initiative for Africa framework. These initiatives are part of a broader effort to enhance the productivity and sustainability of agricultural lands across Africa.

Key commitments made during the summit include:

  • Ensuring that at least 70% of smallholder farmers receive targeted agronomic recommendations by 2034, to foster greater efficiency and sustainable use of fertilizers.
  • Supporting natural gas-producing Member States to increase fertilizer production and stabilize prices.
  • Fully operationalizing the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) to improve the production, procurement, and distribution of fertilizers and soil health interventions.
  • Developing and promoting national capacity building for locally relevant fertilizer and soil health management practices and technologies.
  • Promoting African solidarity through knowledge sharing and training programs on soil fertility and health.
  • Guarantee that at least 70% of smallholder farmers have access to quality extension and advisory services from public and private systems.

The summit, held from May 7-9 under the theme “Listen to the Land,” highlighted the urgent need to implement restorative measures for Africa’s soils, which have been severely depleted due to years of excessive use without adequate replenishment. This depletion has compromised the soils’ ability to sustain optimal crop yields, underscoring the need for immediate action.

The event was a platform for government leaders, scientists, private sector representatives, civil society leaders, and farmer organization leaders to engage in discussions and partnerships aimed at rapidly restoring the nutritional value of the continent’s agricultural soils.

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