Thursday, June 20, 2024
Home Uncategorized Address Challenges That Affect Soil Fertility – Minister Tumwebaze

Address Challenges That Affect Soil Fertility – Minister Tumwebaze

by Jacquiline Nakandi
0 comment

By Apollo Mubiru

The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Industry, Frank Tumwebaze, has asked African countries to address challenges that affect soil fertility.

The minister was addressing participants at the African Fertilizers and Soil Health Summit (AFSH) on May 7, 2024, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi where he represented President Yoweri Museveni.

He noted that addressing these and more challenges to ensuring rehabilitation and enhancement of soil health will be critical for the future of agriculture, food, animal feeds, nutrition and income security among citizens.

“Fertilizer importation is capital intensive and to break even, you need to import large volumes. This calls for access to affordable finances to facilitate the trade. The implication of this is that very few private sector players venture into it leading to low volumes,” Tumwebaze noted.

In response to the recommendation of AU policy organs, the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Environment (DARBE) of the African Union has organised the AFSH summit.

The summit will deliberate on Africa’s recent widespread decades-long decline in soil quality of farmland – a phenomenon that continues today and negatively impacts the agricultural production capacity and food security in the continent. 

In June 2006, the Heads of State and Governments of the African Union endorsed the Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for the Africa Green Revolution, a continental strategy to reverse the worrying trend of poor productivity of the African soils.

The Declaration focused on key targets required for agricultural growth, food security, and rural development in Africa, with a focus on the role of fertilizers. 

It recommended raising the use of fertilizers from 8 kg/(nutrients)/ha to 50 kg (nutrients) /ha in 10 years and the establishment of an African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) with the objective of improving agricultural productivity by providing financing required to boost fertilizer use in Africa to achieve the target of 50 kg of nutrients per hectare, as mandated by the Abuja Declaration.

Fifteen years after the Abuja Declaration, Africa’s agriculture and food security narrative has evolved significantly. The fertilizer market itself has changed, including the roles that private and public sector actors are playing.

Another major change since Abuja, is the increased recognition of the critical role of sustainable soil management. The decline in soil health has hindered the efficiency of fertilizer use and hampered agricultural productivity growth, food security, and environmental sustainability across the continent.

As a result, economic growth and well-being—particularly for the rural population, who derive their livelihoods directly from agriculture – in the continent have been hampered.  It is therefore, timely to review the state of Africa’s soil health to recalibrate the strategies being deployed for boosting the productivity of soils towards higher and sustainable gains in crop yields as well as economic growth and transformation, and overall well-being. 

The objective of the Summit is to bring together all relevant stakeholders to highlight the crucial role of fertilizer and soil health in stimulating sustainable pro-poor productivity growth in African agriculture and to agree on an African Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan, as well as the Soils Initiative for Africa.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Download Vision Group Experience App

Follow Us

All Rights Reserved © Harvest Money 2023

error: Content is protected !!