Six West African countries including Ghana have stockpiled more than one million tons of fertilizer in anticipation of any further disruption in the fertilizer supply chain due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ghana, Burkina Faso, CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal, have collectively imported about 1.1 million tons of fertilizer in May 2020 alone. This is contained in a recent industrial report released by the West Africa Fertilizer Association (WAFA) which assures that this is nearly enough to see the six countries through the current crop season.
To enhance this practice all around the sub-region, the Association is aiming to put a number of mechanisms in place to encourage this type of stockpiling in the future by other countries in the sub-region do same.
â€œFertilizer actors in these six countries report that 80 percent of the seasonâ€™s needs are already in stock. However, smaller markets like Liberia, Niger, and Sierra Leone have covered less than half their fertilizer needs for the seasonâ€, the report states.
About 53 percent of fertilizer consumed in the region is mostly used on food crops. However, the region is noted to lag behind the rest of the world in fertilizer consumption per hectare and consequent productivity.
To correct this situation, most especially considering the urgency of maintaining food security during the COVID-19 outbreak, WAFA is urging governments to invest in supporting farmers to use more fertilizers on their food crops.