AFRICA – OCP Africa, a subsidiary of the Moroccan phosphates giant, has penned a memorandum of understanding with Fertilizer Canada and the African Plant Nutrition Institute (APNI), to better support African smallholder farmers.

The agreement signed at the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2022 Summit in Rwanda, aims to improve food security on the continent, design and implement impactful programs to support smallholder farmers.

“Transforming African agriculture and improving smallholder farmers’ livelihood requires a partnership-based and inclusive approach.

“We are glad to collaborate with Fertilizer Canada to design and implement high-impact initiatives to support smallholder farmers,” said OCP Africa CEO Anouar Jamali.

The tripartite agreement is based on the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Framework, which outlines four main components to achieve increased production and profitability, as well as improved sustainability and environmental production.

The four Rs in the framework refer to using the right source, at the right rate, at the right time, and at the right place.

It emphasizes that properly managing the fertilizing and cropping systems can provide huge economic, social, and environmental benefits.

The agreement comes as part of OCP’s efforts to become more involved in Africa and help the continent reach its food security goals by supporting smallholder farmers.

According to the company, a key driver of its vision is the urgency of supporting independent and smallholder operations to achieve food security on the continent.

Food security continues to be among Africa’s chief concerns. The continent continues to be a net importer of food, despite agriculture contributing massively to several countries’ GDPs.

International price increases for essential agriculture nutrients and foodstuffs are among other factor pushing the continent to seek more independence and bolster its agriculture sector.

AGRA and GAIN sign cooperation agreement

At the same event – AGRF, the heads of the African Green Revolution Alliance (AGRA) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) signed a new five-year cooperation agreement.

The agreement covers GAIN support to the AGRF and working with AGRA to strengthen linkages between smallholder farmers and African agri-food companies, emphasizing better access to finance and technical skills for SMEs involved in the agri-food sector.

“As the impact of climate change on African agriculture grows, we need to accelerate actions to promote investments for sustainable agriculture ensuring that Africans everywhere can have better access to safe and nutritious foods.

“As we double down to strengthen delivery systems and the agriculture ecosystem across countries in Africa, GAIN’s expertise in nutrition and food systems will be a major support to this,” said AGRA President, Agnes Kalibata.

COMESA, partners unveil digital regional food balance sheet

Further to that, COMESA in partnership with AGRF, USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rwandan Government launched the digital Regional Food Balance Sheet (RFBS).

The RFBS aims to accelerate the application of digital, remote sensing and advanced analytical technologies to provide forecasts for major food commodities in the East and Southern African region.

Lack of reliable, timely and transparent data on agri-food systems is a pervasive problem that challenge decision-making for all stakeholders, including governments, farmers, traders/processors, investors, and development partners.

To enhance the quality of agri-food data, in terms of access, accuracy, timeliness, coverage, consistency, and reliability, COMESA is keen to leverage the existing information and communication technologies to improve data collection, analyses, dissemination, and management.

This initiative will help the region to inform policy and business decisions on food security, agricultural trade and investment.

Currently, the platform covers a few commodities, but will be expanded to other food commodities and countries as it continues to be developed, based on the users’ feedback, needs and requirements.

The AGRF has become the landmark annual event on the continent bringing governments and partners together around food security and making safe, nutritious foods produced in a sustainable way available to all Africans.

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