By Prossy Nandudu
The chairperson of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership Rhoda Peach Tumusiime has tasked importers and manufactures to package fertilizers in smaller quantities like it is for seed.
This will make them accessible and affordable to farmers. Currently most fertilizer packaging is in 50kgs which is selling at between sh170,000 to sh220,000.
In the wake of high fertilizer prices, most farmers may not afford. She added by farmers accessing the smaller packs will increase fertilizers usage that has stagnated at 1.5kgs per hectare per year, compared to the loss of 8kilograms of soil nutrient loss per year, according to soil scientists from the National Agriculture Research Laboratories (NaRL) in Kawanda.
Tumusiime made the appeal at the end of a two-day East Africa Regional Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) that took place at Speke Resort Munyonyo from 3-4th April.
“This conference is an important step towards the sustainable solutions for Africa’s fertilizer and agro input challenges,” said Tumusiime.
The dialogue was aimed to addressing current challenges impacting Global supply chains and their negative consequences on the African Fertilizer and Agro inputs sector.
The conference attracted participants from Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, was organized by AFAP, Bill and Melinda gates Foundation and the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, among other stake holders.
According to AFAP CEO Michael Sudarkasa, at the end of the meeting, stakeholders would then develop sustainable solutions to Africa’s agricultural sector.
“EAC Africa Regional PPD Conference has provided valuable platform for stakeholder’s to address Africa’s Fertilizers and agro input challenges,” said Surdakasa.
Status of fertilizer quality in Uganda
At the start of 2023, the agriculture ministry destroyed 90 tons of substandard and counterfeit assorted agricultural inputs including fertilizers worth 2.1, collected from different parts of the country.
To address the challenge, the ministry is now working with the National Information Technology Authority of Uganda (NITA-U) to have an electronic traceability system to check for counterfeit agro-inputs, added Paul Mwambu Commissioner Crop Inspection and Certification at the ministry.