May 21, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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NAIROBI DECLARATION ON FERTILISER AND SOIL HEALTH

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TAG: GS 3: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

THE CONTEXT: African presidents have endorsed the Nairobi Declaration on fertiliser and soil health, committing to prioritise domestic fertiliser production and triple it in the next 10 years to boost agricultural production.

EXPLANATION:

  • The Nairobi Declaration on fertiliser and soil health emerges as a crucial response to the pressing agricultural challenges facing Africa.
  • It was endorsed by African presidents at the second Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit held in Kenya.
  • The declaration is a strategic commitment to address the continent’s dependency on food imports, soil degradation, and the recent global fertiliser crisis, which disproportionately affects Africa.
  • The forum recognised the opportunities that regional cooperation, coordination, and harmonisation of fertiliser policies and regulations can bring.
  • The recent global fertiliser crisis has disproportionately affected Africa, with a year-on-year decline of 25 per cent in fertiliser consumption in 2022.
  • Since the adoption of the Abuja Declaration 17 years ago, fertiliser consumption across the continent has only increased from an average of 8kg / ha to about 18kg / ha, which is less than half of the target of 50kg / ha set in the declaration.

Commitments and Targets

  • Tripling Domestic Fertiliser Production: African leaders commit to tripling domestic production and distribution of certified quality organic and inorganic fertilisers by 2034. This ambitious goal aims to enhance agricultural productivity and improve access and affordability for smallholder farmers.
  • Strengthening Research and Development: The declaration emphasizes the need to strengthen research and development on the utilization of organic and inorganic fertilisers. This includes revitalizing the African Centre for Fertilizer Development in Harare, Zimbabwe, to drive innovation in soil health management.
  • Regional Cooperation and Coordination: Acknowledging the importance of regional cooperation, the declaration highlights opportunities for harmonizing fertiliser policies and regulations across Africa. This collaborative approach seeks to maximize the impact of soil health interventions.

Challenges Addressed

  • Global Fertiliser Crisis: The declaration responds to the recent global fertiliser crisis, recognizing its disproportionate impact on Africa. By prioritizing domestic fertiliser production, African countries aim to mitigate the effects of external supply disruptions.
  • Soil Degradation and Climate Change: African leaders express concern over accelerated soil degradation, desertification, and extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. The declaration underscores the urgent need for proactive soil health management to combat these challenges.

Implementation Strategies

  • Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships: The declaration emphasizes the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships to drive policies, finance, research and development, markets, and capacity building for fertiliser and sustainable soil health management.
  • Operationalising Financing Mechanisms: To improve the production, procurement, and distribution of fertilisers, African leaders commit to operationalizing the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM). This includes creating a multi-source soil health fund to support research, innovation, capacity building, and start-ups.
  • Incentive Mechanisms and Subsidy Programs: Innovative incentive mechanisms, including repurposing current fertiliser subsidy programs, will be deployed to reverse land degradation and restore soil health.

Addressing Climate Change Impacts

  • Integrated Soil and Water Management: The declaration promotes integrated soil and water conservation, planning, and management practices to enhance nutrient-use efficiency and climate change resilience.
  • Gender and Youth Inclusion: There is a deliberate emphasis on supporting agricultural initiatives by women and youth, recognizing their vital role in sustainable agriculture and soil health management.

SOURCE: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/africa/african-presidents-endorse-nairobi-declaration-on-fertiliser-and-soil-health-at-special-summit-in-kenya-96094

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