Rwanda’s Prime Minister, Dr Edouard Ngirente has said that Africa needs to increase the quantity of fertilizers used in agriculture as its current level is far below the global average.
Ngirente made this call during an official opening of the 10th edition of the Africa Green Revolution Forum Summit in Kigali, on the 8th September 2020.
The three day event was followed by few people physically at Kigali Convention Center while other were online due to preventive measures of covid19 pandemic.
The theme of the Summit is “Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent: Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa.”
Prime Minister, Ngirente said that despite the progress Africa has made in transforming agriculture, there are challenges to be addressed including the poor use of fertilizers, especially in Sub-Saharan countries.
“It is imperative for African countries to increase the application of fertilizers in order to achieve a sustained agricultural growth. Fertilizer application in most African countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa is still very low. Average fertilizer application in sub-Saharan Africa is at 16.6kg/ha.” He said.
“This is far away behind the World average of 144.5kg/ha or the average in Southern Asia which is at 135kg/ha.” Ngirente explained.
Ngirente pointed out that the continent needs also to improve agriculture infrastructure such as rural feeder roads to enable market access for rural small farmers.
“Transport systems should be streamlined to facilitate urban-rural linkage. This will increase rural farmers’ income and make it possible for the urban consumers to get food at affordable prices.” He added.
Africa’s population stands at 1,2 billion people and over 60% are below the age of 25, however, African youths do not consider agriculture as a profitable opportunity for their livelihood.
Africa is also still facing a huge challenge of post-harvest losses as the total quantitative food loss in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at 100 million metric tons per year.