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publié dans Bulletins thématiques le 4 janvier 2013

Special Bulletin n°198 – Fertilizer


This special intelligence bulletin is devoted to fertilizer. It focuses on West Africa, with viewpoints and information on experience in other regions of Africa.

Crops in West Africa receive an average dose of 7 to 8 kg of fertilizer. This is very low, well below the levels applied in Asian and South American countries. Everybody recognizes the urgent need to durably boost production, but opinions differ as to how. What subsidy policy should be adopted? How can intensification policies be implemented and financed? What model of intensification should be promoted? How can the private sector be made more effective, and how can the fertilizer market in sub-Saharan Africa be improved? Which innovative systems should be promoted to give farmers better access to fertilizer? Fertilizer is a thorny subject that reveals deep divisions, between the advocates of the “green revolution” in Africa, those in favour of strong public action and those who want to improve the working of the private sector, etc. Farmers do what they can to organize themselves to obtain good fertilizer at lower cost. States establish fertilizer promotion strategies and intensified production policies that are more or less effective and stable. Partners try to develop new approaches.

This bulletin is made up of different parts: initiatives by farmers’ organizations, voucher schemes, training handbooks and manuals, fertilization techniques, country studies and documentation, regional policies, subsidies, fertilizer chains on the global scale, reference websites on this topic.

Naturally this bulletin does not claim to be exhaustive. We invite readers to enrich this work with their comments. Do not hesitate to send us other documents or sources that we will mention in a future issue. Please inform us of other interesting initiatives in this domain that we can bring to the attention of our readers.

This bulletin has drawn widely upon the input and contributions of a great many people (see acknowledgements at the end of the issue). We gratefully thank them for their help.

The Inter-réseaux team

Table of contents

Practices and experience

  • Durably boost production of grain crops: a challenge for UGCPA-BM
  • Interview with Mahamadou Hassane, secretary-general of FUCOPRI
  • “Épargne Baoré”: Creation of a group supply scheme for inputs
  • Farm inputs supply: four years of experience at FEPAB (2006-2009)
  • The fertilizer supply system of the Fédération des Unions de Groupements Paysans du Niger (Mooriben) for the 2010 season
  • Cooperative input shops: a solution to the problem of input supply
  • Video document on input shops in Niger

    Voucher schemes

  • Voucher schemes for enhanced fertilizer use: lessons learned and policy implications
  • Getting fertilizer into farmers’ hands
  • Fertilizer subsidies in Africa: are vouchers the answer?

    Handbooks and training manuals
    Soil amendment

  • Training booklets and manuals drawing on FOs experience with soil amendment in Burkina Faso Statistics
  • Training manual on fertilizer statistics in Africa Input shops
  • Practical handbooks on farm input shops
  • AOPP : setting up farm input shops
  • Farm input banks
  • Fertilizer dealer handbook: products, storage and handling
  • Practical handbook for agro-dealers
  • Fertilizer Retailing Guide
    Education and extension services
  • Information sheets on deep injection of urea and on fertilizer toxicity
  • Video presentation: Deep placement of urea
  • Extension leaflets and training documents from the Inputs project in Niger

    Country studies and documentation

  • Fertilizer supply and costs in Africa
  • North Cameroon: two information sheets from PRASAC
  • Overview of the agricultural input sector in Ghana
  • Support for setting up an inputs production and distribution scheme (fertilizers and plant protection products) in PARECAM intervention zones
  • Analysing the constraints that hinder improved supply of farm inputs in Mali Niger
  • RECA Info 7
  • Nigeria: Aliko Dangote to the rescue of the continent’s farmers Ethiopia
  • Seed, fertilizer, and agricultural extension in Ethiopia
  • Incomplete markets and fertilizer use: evidence from Ethiopia
  • Lesson learning study of the farm inputs promotion project in Kenya (with a special emphasis on publicprivate partnership for input promotion and possibilities for regional upscaling)

    Soil amendment

  • Agroecology: where do we stand?
  • Sustainable land management: directives and good practices for sub-Sahara Africa
  • West Africa can feed its population by restoring soil fertility
  • Soil fertility: changing the paradigm through collective action


  • Fertilizer subsidies in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Smart fertilizer subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa: New wine or just new bottles?
  • The Use of Input Subsidies in Developing Countries
  • The New Generation of African Fertilizer Subsidies: Panacea or Pandora’s Box?
  • Fertilizer Demand in Sub-Saharan Africa: Realizing the Potential
  • Alternative Approaches for Promoting Fertilizer Use in Africa, with Emphasis on the Role of Subsidies.
  • Agricultural production revival in Malawi : success and limits
  • Reclaiming Policy Space: Lessons from Malawi’s 2005/2006 Fertilizer Subsidy Programme
  • Promoting Fertilizer Use in Africa: Current Issues and Empirical Evidence from Malawi, Zambia, and Kenya.

    Across the continent

  • African 2006 summit on fertilizer
  • Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for the African Green Revolution: Regional and national progress report
  • Communique from AU-NEPAD on a concrete proposal to G20 for enhancing agriculture supply by African small farmers
    Across the region
  • Regional strategy to promote fertilizer in West Africa
  • Methodological note on the ECOWAP task force on inputs financing instruments
  • Technical and financial feasibility study for regional agricultural policy instruments to support sustainable intensification of agriculture in West Africa
  • Two articles on cotton production in Benin
  • Supply and financing issues for agricultural inputs in Mali
  • Policies and actions to stimulate private sector fertilizer marketing in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Policy frameworks conducive to enhancing soil fertility in Africa
  • Improving Regional Fertilizer Markets in West Africa
  • Fertilizer Tool Kit: promoting efficient and sustainable fertilizer use in Africa

    The global fertilizer chain

  • The fertilizer market: current status, outlook and outstanding issues
  • Volatility of agricultural commodity prices and fertilizers
  • Fertilizer market situation: market structure, consumption and trade patterns, and pricing behaviour

    Reference websites

  • Africa Fertilizer Portal
  • International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA)
  • IFDC
  • IFDC

market information system

  • MIR+ (Market inputs regionally plus)
  • ICIS
  • African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP)
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