EnGRAIS-WAFA-AFO workshop in Cotonou: a major step forward for fertilizers in West Africa
A workshop to validate data collected on fertilizer volumes, import procedures and cost structures as well as obtain recommendations for improving fertilizer volumes and prices in Benin, Niger and Togo opened yesterday August 24 2021 in Cotonou and is expected to end on Friday August 24 2021.
It follows a study carried out in 2019 as part of activities of the Feed the Future Enhancing Growth through Regional Agricultural Input Systems (EnGRAIS) for West Africa project, in collaboration with the West Africa Fertilizer Association (WAFA) and AfricaFertilizer.org (AFO).
The first phase of the study covered 6 countries in the region - Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire - and their main trade corridors including the four ports of Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire, Tema in Ghana, Dakar in Senegal and Lomé in Togo. This was followed by the publication in August 2019 of a report on the " Structure of logistics costs and procedures for fertilizer imports along 4 corridors in West Africa" as well as 4 fact sheets on the ports studied. The second phase, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, covers other trade corridors serving Nigeria, Niger and Benin (via the port of Cotonou).
On the other hand, EnGRAIS supports WAFA and AFO to monitor statistics of annual production, trade, and consumption of fertilizers in Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. These figures highlight that the volumes of fertilizer consumed in Benin, Niger and Togo have increased significantly in recent years and should be monitored to provide a more accurate picture of current fertilizer consumption in the sub-region.
Within this framework, EnGRAIS undertook a series of studies on statistics, procedures and logistics costs of fertilizers in Benin, Togo and Niger. To this end, working sessions were held with national institutions in charge of agriculture, Customs services, companies importing fertilizers and those involved in logistics operations for fertilizers and port services.
The result is the current workshop in Cotonou which brings together about fifty participants from the public, private and civil society sectors from seven countries: Benin (17), Togo (10), Niger (15), Ivory Coast (3), Ghana (3), Kenya (1) and Nigeria (1).
We will come back in these columns with outcomes of the workshop.