African Union and Government of Kenya Sign Host Agreement for the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit

The African Union Commission and Government of the Republic of Kenya signed a host- agreement ahead of the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit to be held in Nairobi Kenya from 7 to 9 May 2024. The host agreement was signed by H.E Amb. Josefa Sacko on behalf of the African Union Commission and H.E Amb. George Orina signed on behalf of Government of the Republic Kenya

The 2024 Africa Fertilizer and Soil Heath summit (AFSH) comes 18 years after the  2006 Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for  Africa that highlighted the strategic importance of fertilizers in triggering agricultural transformation and highlighted concerns of the magnitude of nutrient depletion and soil health degradation.  The Summit is also coming at a time when Africa is shaping it food systems approach following the Africa Common Position to the UN Food Systems Summit that aims to bring new action in fostering game-changing solutions to transform food systems on the continent by building resilient and inclusive food systems to impact directly on SDGs of Agenda 2030, AU Agenda 2063, CAADP-Malabo declaration and the Post-Malabo Declaration Development Process

In her opening remarks H.E Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE) stated that “The 2024 Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health (AFSH2024) Summit is set to evaluate the state of Africa’s soil health, while reviewing the progress made since the 2006 Abuja Declaration, which aimed to boost fertilizer use for agricultural growth. With insights from leading experts, we shall delve into critical matters such as why fertilizer consumption in Africa has only risen from 8kg/ha to about 18kg/ha since 2006, far below the 50kg/ha target “In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the utilization of African mineral resources for fertilizer production, even though the majority of this production is exported out of the continent she stated. This should not necessarily be the case for the future of Africa. The African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) has been established and hosted by the AfDB with the objective of improving access to quality and affordable fertilizers for agricultural productivity by providing financing required to boost fertilizer use in Africa especially to small-holder farmers, in order to achieve the target of 50 kg of nutrients per hectare, as adopted in the Abuja Declaration.” She said.

 H.E Amb. George Orina thanked the African Union commission for considering the Republic of Kenya as the host of the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit from May 7 to 9, 2024 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. He also commended the AUC for leadership and for accelerating the technical and logistical preparations for the summit. He reiterated the commitment, support and readiness of the government of Kenya to host the summit to the best of its ability.. “I am encouraged and assured that Kenya is well prepared to host this year’s summit. We have put in place sufficient structures and requisite human capacity to hold a very successful summit” he said. Amb. Orina further noted that the Kenyan farmers and African farmers at large, have vested interest in the investment in fertilizer production plants as well as the utilization of quality and affordable fertilizers. “Mineral fertilizers remain an essential input to achieving food security, we need to support our farmers to optimize fertilizer application, to gain high yields through a balanced crop nutrition approach but also being mindful of the health of our soils”, he added.

The 2024 AFSH Summit will bring together various stakeholders to highlight the crucial role of fertilizer and soil health in stimulating sustainable pro-poor productivity growth in African agriculture, adoption of the Nairobi Declaration on Fertilizer and Soil Health adoption of  an African Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan, as well as the Soil Initiative for Africa framework. The Action Plan will outline priority actions and investments for the next 10-years to ensure sustainable access to fertilizers and sustainable soils management, reduce the yield gaps and contribute to sustainable agricultural transformation in the context of a changing climate on the continent.

The summit will also focus on broader soil health issues as well as the sustainable use of fertilizer cognizant of the need for holistic soil fertility maintenance with both organic and mineral fertilizers, with emphasis on addressing the increase in soil degradation and to make use of   soil management mechanisms.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).

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