African leaders endorse plan to boost soil health, fertilizer use-Xinhua

African leaders endorse plan to boost soil health, fertilizer use

Source: Xinhua| 2024-05-10 01:06:45|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- African heads of state and government endorsed a comprehensive action plan on Thursday to restore soil health through increased fertilizer application in food production.

During the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, the leaders committed to enhancing arable land productivity through the use of compost and synthetic manure. They vowed to triple domestic production and distribution of certified organic and inorganic fertilizers by 2034 to improve access and affordability for smallholder farmers, according to a joint declaration.

The leaders pledged to prioritize local production and blending of mineral fertilizers using locally available raw materials. They also committed to providing targeted agronomic recommendations to at least 70 percent of smallholder farmers by 2034, ensuring greater efficiency and sustainable use of fertilizers.

Furthermore, the leaders promised to support natural gas-producing member states in fertilizer production to increase their output and ensure stable prices. They also vowed to reverse land degradation and restore soil health on at least 30 percent of degraded soil by 2034, aiming to boost crop yields at the smallholder level.

To address financing challenges, the leaders pledged to fully operationalize the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism to improve the production, procurement and distribution of fertilizers. They also agreed to establish a multi-source soil health fund to support research, innovation and capacity building in fertilizer use and soil health actions.

The leaders called on the private sector to increase investments in local fertilizer manufacturing and research and development of new soil health improvement technologies to promote food self-sufficiency in the continent.

More than 2,000 delegates, including ministers, researchers, donors and six African presidents, attended the three-day summit. Co-hosted by the African Union, the Kenyan government and multilateral partners, the summit, themed "Listen to the Land," is expected to chart a new path for regenerating the continent's soils and other vital ecosystems.