Mitigating strategies for global fertiliser and food crisis


The current fertiliser and food crisis underlines the importance of the responsible use of fertiliser resources as well as the importance to enhance the resilience of the food system.

Africa is in dire need of balanced fertilisers for its sustainable agriculture intensification.

Widespread adoption of appropriate fertilisers requires a transformation of the fertiliser and food systems that must be driven by evidence-based agro-technical perspectives embedded in multi-stakeholder processes to create enabling conditions for adoption.

To support this transformation, IFDC, OCP and the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University have partnered to implement the Fertiliser Research and Responsible Implementation (FERARI) programme.

FERARI is an international public-private partnership that builds science-based approaches to site-specific fertilisation strategies for widespread adoption by farmers in Ghana for improved food and nutrition security.

FERARI operates in conjunction with the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme of the Government of Ghana (GoG) to embed development efforts into national policy priorities to reach impact at scale.

It trains five PhD and two post-doctoral candidates, and over 50 Master’s degree students in building the evidence base for its interventions.

FERARI conducts hundreds of fertiliser-response trials on maize, rice and soybean, on-station and also with farmers, and demonstrates them to farmer groups in the northern and middle belt of Ghana.

It conducts survey among farmers and actors in the value chain to understand the drivers for use of fertilisers and other inputs, and the marketing of the produce to enhance farm productivity and income.

Furthermore, it helps the government to establish a Ghana National Fertiliser Platform, and develops its soil mapping expertise toward an information platform.

To this end, a FERARI coordination conference commenced in Accra on 24th October but continues from 25th till 29th October in Tamale, with the objective of highlighting and discussing the role of the FERARI approach in short-term actions and long-term strategic institutional development for a resilient food and fertiliser system in Ghana and beyond.

The theme of the meeting was ‘Global Fertiliser and Food Crisis: Mitigation Strategies for Ghana’, with participants drawn from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, a quorum of international professors, researchers, students, embassies, the Fertiliser Platform Ghana, the World Bank, and the donor community in Ghana.

FERARI has identified Planting for Food and Jobs as a government policy since it deals with issues like fertiliser to improve production in conjunction with Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to come up with recommendations to optimise fertiliser implementation by conducting site-specific trials.

They conduct field surveys to determine the economics behind fertiliser with farmers for mapping purposes which is then transferred to MoFA for evaluation.

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