Home Events/Summit South African agriculture minister addresses Africa’s principal fertilizer conference

South African agriculture minister addresses Africa’s principal fertilizer conference

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Over 520 delegates gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, for the 8th annual Argus FMB Africa Fertilizer conference, bringing the biggest conference of its kind to southern Africa for the first time. The conference was organised by leading commodity price reporting, consulting and events company Argus.

The conference was opened by South Africa’s minister for agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana. “Fertilizers play a leading role in the global food industry and fertilizer is the largest and most important component to ensure abundant and affordable food for a growing population,” Zokwana said, in an opening address that reinforced the importance of collaboration across the supply chain. “I am thankful that Argus FMB has taken a leadership role in organising this conference. There is a need for a commitment from all of us to work together in addressing issues that are of mutual benefit.”

The conference agenda featured over 30 speakers who addressed ways to increase African farmers’ access to fertilizer and consequently to boost agricultural yields across the continent.

“We have been running this conference for many years,” Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said, “but in the last 12 months we have seen a big surge in interest, in line with a renewal of political will to bring transformative changes to African agriculture.”

The other keynote speakers included OCP AFRICA chief executive Karim Lofti Senhadji, the African Development Bank’s vice-president for agriculture, human and social development, Jennifer Blanke, and the chief executive of African development partnership NEPAD, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki.

The conference is supported by the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), the Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) as well as by a number of other organisations involved in promoting fertilizer use in Africa.

The agenda focused on increasing consumption of fertilizers and building meaningful supply chain partnerships in Africa. Speakers from the private and public sectors discussed the importance of creating enabling environments for fertilizer supply and distribution, improving access to finance and developing infrastructure that in turn will broaden intra-Africa trade, increase fertilizer consumption across the continent and ultimately boost agricultural productivity.

“Argus FMB Africa Fertilizer has become known as the event that brings together the most important players in the global fertilizer trade with all the links in the African supply chain,” Argus vice-president, conferences, David Monaghan said. “This conference has attracted delegates from 63 countries, of which 23 are African, and this number is going up every year, as we build on our commitment to increase access to the conference for the small-to-medium sized enterprises that are crucial to delivering appropriate and effective fertilizers to African farmers.”

Argus is collaborating with the West African Fertilizer Association (WAFA) to hold the West Africa Fertilizer Forum, which will take place on 9-10 May in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. “West Africa is witnessing rapid growth in the development of its fertilizer market and this conference will focus on the specific opportunities and challenges in this region,” Monaghan said.

Argus conferences have provided opportunities to address issues of policy and regulation and uncover emerging trends in the fertilizer markets for over 30 years. They also provide a platform to meet and do business with leading global producers, traders and distributors.

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