June 13, 2022

Acting chairman of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Sampson Ahi has questioned if the West African sub-region has the capacity to purchase 50% of fertilizers produced in the region, as 80% are exported to Latin America.

Presentation made by the ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources Sekou Sangare at the plenary points out to the fact that NPK and Urea fertilizers with industrial unit produce annual has more than 4.5 million tons of fertilizer in Nigeria and Senegal.

The Dangote Fertilizer Group, Indorama and OCP Group and ICS in Senegal’s fertilizers currently more than 80% is exported to Latin America.

During discussion session at the plenary, the acting chairman of the committee that has oversight responsibility noted that the war in Russia and Ukraine has created panic in Africa and for that      matter West Africa.

“We are all talking about possible farming hunger in the sub region, we are talking about fertilizer deficit of two million, we have our compatriots’ business persons in the sub-region who are producing more than this deficit but they are being exported to Latin America. We are still crying that that war is preventing us from accessing fertilizer, do we have a capacity as a sub-region to purchase fifty percent of the 80 percent that they are exporting?”

It was a question he posed to the Commissioner and added that if that happens it would clear the two million deficit of fertilizer the sub-region has.

He further questioned the Commission on steps being taken to allow our scientist to come out with climatically favored Genetic Modification Organism (GMOs) seeds in our sub region, as it seems to him that what is being done now is importing from Europe and the Americas.

“We  have scientific centers in the sub-region to produce GMOs as the Commissioner spoke  about strategic reserves,  and buying grain during surplus production, what is the criteria for member states; at what states can we conclude that a member state is in need and what state can a member state access facilities at the strategic reserve?”.

And on food deficit in member states, when one is asked to state the five problems in agriculture activities it would be repeated, “just to say that we know what the problems are, the issue is how do we resolve the old age problems, that we know of and how are we doing to modernise Agriculture in our sub-region?”, he queried.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com/Abuja-Nigeria