By Oluchi Chibuzor
The West African Fertilizer Association (WAFA) has entered into a partnership with Arab Fertilizer Association (AFA) targeted at increasing the supply of high-quality affordable fertilizer in the region.
The new agreement would enable both regional associations work together to leverage West Africa fertilizer demand gap from about 3.5 million tonnage (tons) to its 12 million tons market potential.
Speaking on the partnership after the signing of memorandum of understanding recently, the Vice President of WAFA, Dr. Innocent Okuku, said the collaboration with AFA and AFRIQOM, a Dubai-based firm was important to his association and its 60 members who account for about 90 per cent of fertilizer supplies in West Africa.
He said: “Since AFA members represent over 30 per cent of global fertilizer production, WAFA will leverage that capacity to fast track one of her key objectives of increasing supply of high-quality affordable fertilizers across West Africa while in return AFA members will have improved access to the relatively untapped 12 million tons of fertilizer market potential of the region.
“The involvement of AFRIQOM in the relationship will bring increased transparency of the market. Overall, this collaboration will contribute significantly to helping Africa increase its agricultural production, decrease its dependence on food imports and create wealth among her rural populations. We at WAFA are therefore very excited to announce this collaboration.”
On his part, the AFA Secretary-General, Engineer Raed Soub, stressed that “AFA is seeking to support Arab market status and presence in African markets on a wide range through future plans that will ensure broad presence in the African continent, guaranteeing greater opportunities and more significant expansions provided by AFA for its members to identify such a promising continent development.”
The association which is a group of companies aim to promote access to availability, affordability, timing and efficient use of quality and appropriate fertilizers among the farming population in West Africa, while engaging authorities and policy makers in the development of regional agricultural policy in terms of agronomy, infrastructure, trade environment and financing with transparency in the overall interest of improving agriculture.