The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has supported the West African Fertilisers Association (WAFA) on fundraising of USD520million mandated by the ECOWAS Investment and Development Bank (EBID).
On October 8, 2020, the WAFA mandated the EBID to mobilise a total of USD430 million fertiliser imports and USD90million for investments.
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A statement from the ECOWAS Commission, through its Department for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, sensitizes and encourages members to speed up the preparation and submission of relevant and bankable projects funding.
“The planned economic scheme is to cover both bulk importation of fertilisers and the establishment in countries by local shareholders of private fertiliser blending units,’’ the commission stated.
The support is also to further promote fertiliser consumption, which is still very poor in the region (around 20 kg/ out of an expected consumption of 50 kg/ha in 2015).
The commission and the EBID have decided to join forces to support the economy of the WAFA.
The commission also drew the attention of the ministers on the fact that despite numerous efforts, local rice production accounts for only 60 per cent of the needs for an average consumption estimated at 24 million tons in 2019, which means that the region loses huge amounts of foreign currency through massive rice imports.
This situation strongly contrasts the human, land and water resource potential of the region already faced with unemployment, poverty and high migration.
Considering the high stakes and the highly strategic sector the WAFA initiative and the regional strategy of the ECOWAS rice offensive intend to address, ministers gave their political support to the two processes and called for their immediate implementation.