Plans have been revealed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to partner with African countries in tackling high prices of fertilizer through improving sustainable infrastructural efficiencies, including storage and fixing infrastructure required for food production.
This was made public on Wednesday by the Director, Agriculture and Agro-Industry of the AfDB, Dr Martin Fregene, in preparation for the 2022 annual meetings to be held in Accra, Ghana.
Last month, food inflation in Nigeria rose to 17.2% in the review month, an uptick compared to the 17.11% recorded in the preceding month. This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, food product, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, meat, oils and fats.
The Director revealed the bank is working on a $100bn emergency facility to facilitate this measure.
”We engage with member countries on policies that will make more sustainable infrastructural efficiencies in our agricultural system.
”Rural infrastructure like storage and rural roads are what we need our countries to fix.
”The reason why Africa turns to Russia and Ukraine to buy cheap wheat and maize is because our local production is not competitive.
”We want African countries to be able to adapt better,” Fregene said.
Note that in the recent quarterly SBM Jollof index report for Q1 2022, published by SBM Intelligence.
The report added that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is also impacting food prices in Nigeria, citing that the war has led to a global surge in fertilizer prices as shipments from the black sea region have been reduced.
“Hence, food prices are likely to take an upward trend in the coming months. Already, the cost of a 50kg bag of NPK increased from N8, 000 in the previous year to about N17, 000 presently.
“A bag of Urea fertilizer now costs N17, 000, up from N6,000 last year, thus increasing the cost of food production. While the commissioning of the three million ton fertilizer facility is expected to improve the availability of fertilizer, it may not improve the cost,” it stated.