With a view to developing an updated roadmap for improving soil fertility and agricultural productivity in the region, the ECOWAS Commission is organising virtual consultations with the private sector, civil society, and the public sector respectively, from 25th to 27th April 2023.
The consultations, which are being held with the technical and financial support of the Interna-tional Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and the World Bank, aim to mobilise stakeholders, inter-governmental organisations (ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS) and their member countries to contribute to the development and adoption of a specific regional agenda that includes per-formance indicators on soil fertility and health for the benefit of all countries in the region.
During the three days, the consultations will specifically allow to:
• collect their comments, concerns, suggestions and seek alignment with their objec-tives, strategies and programmes, taking account of the specificities of West Africa,
• prepare a draft roadmap for ECOWAS and its Member States to be presented at a high-level roundtable to be held from 30th to 31st May 2023 in Lomé prior to the African Sum-mit on Fertilizer and Soil Health,
• inform and consult stakeholders on the processes, draft declaration and 10-year action plan being prepared by the African Union Commission and,
• prepare and encourage stakeholders’ participation and engagement before, during and after the African Union Summit.
To recall, despite the efforts undertaken and the progress recorded since the African Fertilizer Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria in June 2006, agricultural productivity and production are still insufficient. Fertilizer use is still at low levels, far away from the adopted targets of 50 kg of nu-trients per hectare. The corollary is the heavy reliance on food imports, the continuous in-crease since 2010 of the number of food insecure and hungry people, all this in a context of growing insecurity, climate change and declining soil fertility.