Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture: Lessons Learned and Good Practice Guidelines

Overview

The limited use of fertilizer by farmers in Africa stands in contrast to the much more extensive use of fertilizer by farmers in other developing regions. This contrast has stimulated considerable discussion about what should be the role of fertilizer in helping countries of Africa achieve their agricultural development goals, and what types of policies and programs can help realize the potential benefits of fertilizer in African agriculture.

'Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture' summarizes the findings of a ...

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Overview

The limited use of fertilizer by farmers in Africa stands in contrast to the much more extensive use of fertilizer by farmers in other developing regions. This contrast has stimulated considerable discussion about what should be the role of fertilizer in helping countries of Africa achieve their agricultural development goals, and what types of policies and programs can help realize the potential benefits of fertilizer in African agriculture.

'Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture' summarizes the findings of a major study undertaken by the World Bank to identify promising policy options for promoting increased fertilizer use in Africa, with the ultimate goal of boosting agricultural productivity in smallholder farming systems and reducing poverty. The book summarizes lessons learned from past efforts to promote fertilizer in Africa, provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about technical aspects of fertilizer use in Africa, and presents good practice guidelines for promoting sustainable increases in fertilizer use. The good practice guidelines—which form the basis of an interactive policymaker's tool kit included on a CD accompanying the book—relate not only to the more focused problem of encouraging increased fertilizer use by farmers, but also to the broader challenge of creating the type of enabling environment that is needed to support the emergence of efficient, dynamic, and commercially viable fertilizer marketing systems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821368800
  • Publisher: World Bank Publications
  • Publication date: 2/7/2007
  • Series: Directions in Development
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Acronyms and Abbreviations xiii

Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview 1

Low Fertilizer Use Is a Problem in Africa 2

Past Efforts to Promote Fertilizer in Africa 3

Factors Explaining Low Fertilizer Use in Africa 4

Need for an Integrated Approach to Promoting Fertilizer 5

Entry Points for Public Interventions 6

What Role for Fertilizer Subsidies? 8

Elements of a Balanced Approach 10

The Bottom Line: Ten Guiding Principles for Public Interventions 11

What Is in the Report? 13

Notes 14

Chapter 2 Agriculture, Pro-Poor Growth, and the Role of Fertilizer 15

Agriculture's Central Role in Pro-Poor Growth in Africa 15

An Escalating Soil Fertility Crisis in Africa 18

Trends in Fertilizer Use in Africa 20

Clarifying the Role of Fertilizer in the Overall Development Strategy 27

Notes 29

Chapter 3 Experience in Promoting Fertilizer Use in Africa 31

Historical Overview 31

The Fertilizer Subsidy Debate 36

Notes 44

Chapter 4 Reasons for Low Fertilizer Use in Africa 45

Fertilizer Incentives 45

Risk and Fertilizer Use 52

Why Are Fertilizer Prices Higher in Africa? 57

Slow Emergence of the Private Sector 60

Notes 61

Chapter 5 Good Practices for Promoting Fertilizer Demand 63

Determinants of Fertilizer Demand 63

Entry Points for Overcoming Weak or Ineffective Demand for Fertilizer 65

Chapter 6 Good Practices for Promoting Fertilizer Supply 83

Determinants of Input Supply 83

Entry Points for Overcoming Weak or Ineffective Supply of Fertilizer 84

Role of Government 96

Chapter 7 Rethinking the Role of Fertilizer Subsidies 101

Need for a Long-Term Perspective on Public Interventions 101

Rethinking the Roleof Fertilizer Subsidies 102

Design and Implementation of Market-Smart Subsidies 103

When Market-Smart Subsidies Can Be Helpful 105

Promoting Fertilizer Use to Raise Agricultural Productivity Growth 105

Promoting Fertilizer Use as a Safety Net for the Poor 113

Chapter 8 Summary and Conclusions 121

References 127

Index 137

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