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Transformed fertiliser market needed – WB

A TRANSFORMED fertiliser market is needed in response to the food crisis in Africa, including Zambia, says the World Bank.

It is urgent to make fertilisers more accessible and affordable to avoid prolonging the food crisis, according to the World Bank Group President David Malpass in his post on the group’s blog.

Mr Malpass emphasised that lives and livelihoods depended on the choices of policymakers in Africa.

“Fertiliser subsidies in both developed and developing countries can be repurposed towards measures that reduce overuse, decreasing the sector’s carbon footprint while increasing fertiliser availability.

“If the countries that over apply fertiliser reduced their consumption to adequate levels, access could increase in countries consuming well below the world average,” he said.

The continent produces approximately 30 million metric tons of fertiliser each year, twice as much as it consumes.

Mr Malpass observed that approximately 90 percent of fertiliser consumed in Sub-Saharan African, which Zambia is part of, was imported, mostly from outside the continent.

This, he said reflected inefficiencies in shipping and port costs, distribution chains, information availability and other trade frictions.

He explained that each factor needed a concerted effort by African nations to fix the system.

“Better trade infrastructure and trade facilitation measures such as harmonised rules have an important role.  When technically and economically feasible, local production can complement trade by reducing transport and logistics costs,” Mr Malpass said.


  • Buumba Chimbulu

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