Sustain Africa and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) proudly inaugurated the Sustain Africa Initiative in Zambia during an event held on Friday, November 3rd, 2023 at the Mosi-oa-Tunya Hall, Mulungushi International Conference Centre, in Lusaka, Zambia. The Sustain Africa programme, which runs until end April 2024, will deliver 20,000 metric tons of discounted […]
Sustain Africa and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) proudly inaugurated the Sustain Africa Initiative in Zambia during an event held on Friday, November 3rd, 2023 at the Mosi-oa-Tunya Hall, Mulungushi International Conference Centre, in Lusaka, Zambia. The Sustain Africa programme, which runs until end April 2024, will deliver 20,000 metric tons of discounted fertilizer as well as improved farming inputs and training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to 100,000 farmers in 5 provinces of Zambia: Western, Northern, Northwestern, Luapula and Muchinga. The Sustain Africa programme focuses on maize, rice, beans and soybeans which are critical staple crops for food security. The programme brings together public- and private-sector partners to combat the critical issue of food insecurity across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), driven by soaring fertilizer prices and multi-faceted economic challenges since 2021. As the project implementor (and one of the Sustain Africa founding Board Members), AFAP will coordinate the efforts of ETG, Yara Fertilizers, FSG, IRM, United Capital Fertilizer Limited, Apollo Agriculture, UPL, Syngenta, Bayer, Ministry of Agriculture and CG EIA to deliver the programme.
Sheila Keino, Sustain Africa Regional Manager for East and Southern Africa, outlines the Zambia programme
A unique aspect of this programme is that it includes the supply of fertilizer on a credit consignment basis, with orders that are aggregated through farmer co-operatives. This gets farmers out of the cycle of not using fertilizer because they have no cash for up-front payment, and no personal credit risk rating for borrowing.
Gene Phiri, Zambia Country Manager for AFAP, shared insights into the implementation plan for Sustain Africa – Zambia. He stated, “Under the project titled ‘Zambia Agricultural & Rural Household Food Security Intervention,’ we have outlined three key components: Enhancement of Last Mile Supply & Distribution of improved farming inputs & fertilizers, Demand Creation & SHF Technical Support with Partnering Suppliers, and Monitoring and Evaluation.”
Ben Valk, Executive Director of Sustain Africa, emphasized the importance of the initiative, saying, “Although international fertilizer prices have come down since the 2022 price spike, retail prices remain high in many countries, including Zambia. If farmers cannot afford fertilizer for staple crops, we risk increased food insecurity at both household and national level. Sustain Africa is therefore grateful for the efforts of the programme partners in ensuring an affordable supply of fertilizer to farmers who most need it.”
Michael Sudarkasa, CEO of AFAP, addressed the industry’s response to the global fertilizer crisis. He highlighted key strategies, stating, “We are responding to the global fertilizer crisis by leveraging existing industry relationships, in-country convening and coordination capacity, bottom-up knowledge sharing, rapid response experience, secondment of personnel, leveraging public-private dialogue facilitation experience, and leveraging on-the-ground presence.”
John Makuka, CEO of COMESA, expressed his support for the initiative, stating, “We recognize and appreciate the value of Sustain Africa as a mechanism for coordinating suppliers, implementing partners, donors and government in order to ensure the availability and affordability of fertilizer to some of the hardest-hit farmers on the continent. Together, we are committed to driving sustainable agricultural development in Zambia and beyond.”
The event featured presentations on the goals and objectives of Sustain Africa from representatives of partnering organizations, including Syreeta Chitengi General Manager, Yara, Rajendran Ganapathi, Country Manager – Zambia, ETG, Daniel Maimbo, Director- FSG Zambia, Kobus Smith, Country Manager – Zambia, OMNIA. Reverend Willie Simfukwe, Chairman of the Northern Province Farmers Union, provided remarks on behalf of cooperative farmers.