Four major endorsements reached at 2024 Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi

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Four major endorsements reached at 2024 Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi
Four major endorsements reached at 2024 Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi

Africa-Press – Lesotho. African Heads of State and Government concluded the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit, on May 9, 2024, endorsing the Nairobi Declaration on Fertilizer and Soil Health. This declaration underscores crucial commitments to revive the nutritional balance of the continent’s exhausted soils.

The Nairobi Declaration encapsulates the key discussions among African leaders, with a focus on fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships and investments to drive policies, finance, research and development, markets, and capacity building for fertilizer and sustainable soil health management across Africa. Notably, thirteen commitments were made:

1. To triple domestic production and distribution of certified quality organic and inorganic fertilizers by 2034 to improve access and affordability for smallholder farmers.

2. Make available by 2034, to at least 70% of smallholder farmers on the continent, targeted agronomic recommendations for specific crops, soils, and climatic conditions to ensure greater efficiency and sustainable use of fertilizers.

3. Support efforts of natural gas producing Member States in fertilizer production to increase their production and ensure availability at stable prices.

4. Fully operationalize the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) to improve production, procurement, and distribution of organic and inorganic fertilizers, and soil health interventions.

5. The AU Commission to mobilize financial and technical resources to execute these commitments in close cooperation with the various existing climate funds.

6. Formulating and implementing policies and regulations to create a conducive environment for fertilizer and soil health interventions.

7. Developing and promoting systemic national capacity building for locally relevant fertilizer and soil health management practices and technologies.

8. Developing and promoting systemic national capacity building for locally relevant fertilizer and soil health management practices and technologies

9. Promoting African solidarity through knowledge sharing, training, development, and transfer programs for best practices in soil fertility and soil health

10. Ensuring that at least 70% of smallholder farmers have access to quality extension and advisory services on fertilizer and soil health both from public and private extension systems

11. At least 70% of smallholder farmers have access to quality extension and advisory services on fertilizer and soil health both from public and private extension systems.

12. Domesticate the recommendations in this Declaration into National Agricultural Investment Plans for implementation

13. Ministers of Finance to mobilize and allocate adequate resources for the implementation of the recommendations in this Declaration. The declaration also outlined the specific actions to achieve the envisioned outcomes.

Additionally, the AFSH Summit endorsed a 10-year action plan for Fertilizer and Soil Health, the Africa Financing Mechanism (AFFM) for the Action Plan, and the soil initiative framework for Africa, all of which represent ambitious long-term efforts to systematically enhance the health and productivity of Africa’s soils.

The Summit held from 7th- 9th May 2024 was convened under the theme, Listen to the Land. Participants explored the current condition of Africa’s soils in a bid to implement urgent and appropriate restorative measures.

The event gathered over 4,000 participants, including 57 ministers of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs other government leaders, scientists, private sector representatives, heads of development organizations, civil society leaders, and leaders of farmer organizations, who engaged in discussions, partnerships and commitments aimed at rapidly restoring the nutritional value of the continent’s agricultural soils.

Throughout the three-day summit, it was emphasized that years of excessive use without adequate replenishment had resulted in severe depletion of the continent’s soils, hampering their capacity to sustain optimal crop yields.

The Summit came at a time when Africa is shaping its 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, the Agenda 2063, CAADP-Malabo declaration and the Post-Malabo Declaration Development Process.

The full Nairobi Declaration is available for download here. You can also engage with the whole summit here.

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