Senegal: IFDC recommends sustainable crops intensification in West Africa

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – The country representative of the International Centre for Fertilizer Development (IFDC) in Senegal, Susan Van Keulen-Cantella, on Wednesday said that the development and improvement of the value chains of production of agricultural produce in Africa must go through an intensified and sustainable production of food crops.

Speaking in Dakar, she observed that over recent days, people had talked about high figures for economic growth in Africa and enormous potential of African agriculture.

"Those of us who face the daily realities of the African economy, recognize this potential, but also realize the enormity to overcome current challenges,"  Keulen-Cantella said.

She said that an essential element in developing and improving value chains for agricultural products in Africa, would be to ensure a sustainable intensification of food crop production.

Keulen-Cantella was speaking at a consultative forum of stakeholders in the fertilizer sector in West Africa organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in partnership with technical support from African Fertilizers and Agro-industry (AFAP ) which aims to strengthen sustainable agricultural productivity in the sub-region.

According to organizers, there were sill several obstacles that were hindering the development of the fertilizer sector in West Africa. Among these challenges, are the inefficient operations of ports, weak distribution networks and other problems related to inadequate fertilizer recommendations with limited access to capital.

The forum which is taking place in Dakar is described as a new platform that will contribute to the improvement of the availability, access and efficiency of fertilizers to increase their use in accordance with the Abuja Declaration adopted in 2006 by which African states pledged to increase the level of fertilizer use in sub-Saharan Africa from an average of 8kg/ha to 50kg/ha in 2015.

"We are not only looking to increase food production, but we also want to protect millions of small farmers who are involved in its realization. And we want to protect our environment and natural resources and also ensure that we produce enough good nutritional quality food,'' Keulen-Cantella said.

In addition, the organisers of the forum emphasize that food should be accessible to all in Africa although they agree that this was still not an easy task.

"It will require effective coordination of efforts among all agricultural stakeholders, including producers, private sector input suppliers, the state, traders and consumers," they said.

14 Janeiro 2015 22:01:17

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