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ADB Advocates for Agritech Scaling, Partnerships and Affordable Fertilizer Access at Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit

African Development Bank Group plans to prioritize agricultural technologies, fertilizer, and soil health initiatives to drive sustainable agricultural growth across Africa.

Shivam Dwivedi
ADB Advocates for Agritech Scaling, Partnerships and Affordable Fertilizer Access at Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit
ADB Advocates for Agritech Scaling, Partnerships and Affordable Fertilizer Access at Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit

This week, the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) will leverage its deep expertise and convening power to highlight the crucial role of agricultural technologies, fertilizer and healthy soils in driving sustainable agricultural growth at the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi. Representing Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development Dr. Beth Dunford will lead a delegation of agriculture, agribusiness, fertilizer and partnership specialists to the summit.

The event will explore solutions to widespread declines in farmland soil quality and build consensus on an African Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan. The summit will also adopt an African Union Commission initiative to enhance the health and productivity of African soils. More than 1,500 participants from across Africa, including Heads of State and Ministers, are expected to attend. 

Dunford will speak during a side event titled “Dakar 2 - the State of African Fertilizer and Soil Health: Policy, Governance, and Institutional Framework to Accelerate Country Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts.” Organized by the Leadership for Agriculture network, a partnership of the African Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, the session will bring together representatives of agricultural ministries, the private sector, and other stakeholders to showcase successful efforts by Ethiopia and Mali to scale soil health interventions, raise crop productivity and bolster rural livelihoods.

It will advance the implementation of Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts to achieve food self-sufficiency born out of the Dakar 2 Feed Africa Summit held in January 2023.

Dunford will also provide opening remarks at a 7 May side event jointly organized by the Bank Group, the African Union and the United States Department of State.  This side event, titled, Advancing the Soil Initiative for Africa through the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils will showcase the strategic and developing relationship between the African Development Bank and the U.S.-led Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS), a movement to build resilient food systems grounded in diverse, nutritious and climate-adapted crops grown in healthy, fertile soils.

VACS is aligned with the Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative. TAAT delivers heat-tolerant, drought-resistant and other climate-smart certified seeds to millions of Africa’s smallholder farmers to produce 120 million additional tons of food in Africa and lift 130 million people out of poverty.

Other side event speakers include African Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Ambassador Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko and U.S. Special Envoy for Food Security Dr. Cary Fowler.

Bank Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development, Richard Ofori-Mante and Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) Coordinator Marie Claire Kalihangabo will participate in the summit side event Finance, food and fertilizer: how the debt crisis affects food and farm inputs markets in Africa. The session will focus on tackling the challenge of building resilience in food systems against financial shocks.

As part of its Feed Africa strategy to boost yields and build resilience, the African Development Bank is committed to ensuring African farmers have access to the inputs they need, including fertilizer and high-quality seeds.

Dr. Martin Fregene, the Bank’s Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry, said, “The importance of fertilizer financing in achieving our shared aspirations cannot be overstated. The Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit presents another opportunity to advance our collective goals - bridging the supply gap of fertilizers in Africa and contributing to a flourishing agricultural landscape.”

Dr. Fregene will speak at the Bank’s Dakar 2-themed side event, as well as the Healthy Soils for Food System Transformation event. He will also make a presentation at another session organized by the Sasakawa Africa Foundation and the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Service on Achieving Resilient Agri-Food Systems through Regenerative Agriculture in the Wake of Global Fertilizer Crises and Climate Change.

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