The international Fertilizer Development Center has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) in the improvement of soil health and plant nutrition in West Africa.
The agreement by both body will engender multifaceted programmes aimed at promoting growth and development of the agricultural sector in the West Africa sub region.
Though West Africa accounts for 2 per cent of global fertilizer consumed, fertilizer application rates in the region are still low due to logistical challenges, including reliance on imports that may or may not be appropriate for the various soils in the region.
IFDC is an independent non-profit organization, operating in 17 countries in Asia and Africa, which combines science-backed innovations, an enabling policy environment, holistic market systems development, and strategic partnerships to bridge the gap between identifying and scaling sustainable agricultural solutions, resulting in improved household food security and enriched family livelihoods around the world.
The MoU further advances the partnership between the West African Fertilizer Association (WAFA) and EBID. In collaboration with the ECOWAS Agriculture Commission, EBID has been mandated by WAFA to structure and mobilize funding for soil health development in the region.
Under the agreement, IFDC will partner with EBID to support soil fertility mapping in ECOWAS countries and the rollout of the ECOWAS Agricultural and Investment Program. Moreover, IFDC and EBID will pool their resources to assist ECOWAS countries in their efforts to import fertilizers and inputs guided by the soil mapping programs, in order to sustainably increase farm productivity, profitability, and resilience of smallholder farming systems in West Africa.
Similarly, EBID will cooperate with IFDC to provide advisory support to the ECOWAS Agriculture Commission to launch the ECOWAS Agricultural and Investment Program, and execute the mandate given by WAFA to secure funding and provide association members with project advisory services.
IFDC’s Regional Director of North and West Africa, Dr. Oumou Camara, said “We are pleased to continue to enhance our relationship with ECOWAS through this agreement.
“This collaboration represents a great step forward in assisting the smallholders of the region to access and apply appropriate fertilizers and inputs to contribute to regional soil health and secure a sustainable path to increase crop productivity, farm incomes, and food and nutrition security.”
“Improving the agricultural sector in the ECOWAS member countries is one of five priority areas in which EBID will focus its financing during the next four years. As such, the mutual partnership between EBID and IFDC, which has been put into motion by the signing of this MoU, will see that EBID’s technical expertise and funding provide beneficial avenues that our member states could exploit to develop their agricultural systems, and create sustainable farming practices and processes,” Vice President of EBID, Dr. Mabouba Diagne said.
The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) is a leading regional investment and development bank, that has invested approximately $2.8 billion in inter- and intra-regional development programmes.