IFDC Announces an International Training Program on Managing Risks in the Fertilizer Value Chain in West Africa
June 21-25, 2010
Program Fee: US $1,200 (by May 21, 2010) or $1,400 (after May 21, 2010)
It is ironic that the agricultural sector, which accounts for about 30 percent of GDP, at least 40 percent of export value and between 70 and 80 percent of employment in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has received inadequate attention. Over the last 30 years, SSA’s population has been growing at 3.1 percent per annum compared with food production growth of 2.1 percent per annum. The challenges facing agriculture in West Africa are immense, given its size and diversity. Its current population of 290 million is expected to reach 430 million within the next 15 years, and as much as 60 percent of that population is expected to live in urban areas by 2020 (OECD, 2006). The agricultural sector is characterized by small family farms, dependence on rain-fed agriculture, traditional methods of soil fertility maintenance and low market participation.
The large increase in population over the past several decades has increased pressure on land, and farmers can no longer fallow their fields to regain fertility. Therefore agricultural intensification is widely seen as a necessary condition for enhanced food security and as a major driver for overall economic growth in SSA. To this end, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), the African Union/NEPAD initiative in Africa, strives to revitalize agriculture as the engine of economic growth to improve food security and reduce poverty across the continent.
The use of fertilizer in Africa remains well below recommended levels; it currently is estimated at only 8 kilograms/hectare (kg/ha) ― less than 10 percent of the world average. The low use of fertilizer accounts for the low productivity, poverty and hunger. Therefore, any strategy to reduce poverty must be centered on the efficient and sustainable use of fertilizer. The late Dr. Norman Borlaug referred to fertilizer as ― the fuel that powers the Green Revolution, and there is evidence that no country in the world has been able to reduce poverty and achieve food security without significantly and efficiently increasing agricultural productivity through the effective use of fertilizers.
Several reasons account for the low use of fertilizer in Africa. They include limited purchasing power, poor access to credit among small-scale farmers, unavailability or irregular supply of quality fertilizers, high risk and a perceived lack of profitability.
The risks associated with the fertilizer business include production and handling risks; inventory, storage and environmental risks; market, price and credit risks; and transport and policy risks. Whether from external or internal sources, the risks along the fertilizer value chain must be identified so risk management and mitigation plans can be developed.
As the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) enters its third year of operations, African governments remain committed to agriculture through CAADP and the Abuja declarations to make fertilizers strategic tools for development. This training program has come at the appropriate time to provide the tools and techniques necessary to reduce risks associated with fertilizers. It will draw on lessons and best practices of IFDC and partner organizations in Africa in the area of fertilizer supply chain management.
Training Program Objective
The objectives of this five-day training program are designed to:
- Provide fertilizer stakeholders from the private and public sectors (policymakers, wholesalers, dealers, exporters, farmers, investors, bankers, development agencies, non-governmental organizations [NGOs] and opinion leaders) with an in-depth knowledge and sound understanding of the operation of the fertilizer value chain.
- Equip participants with the tools to analyze risks along the value chain as well as the ways to create values from these risks and to manage negative risks.
In particular, the training program will help identify the primary risks that affect actors and operations in the fertilizer value chain, examine the risk management strategies and instruments available to these actors and propose a framework for incorporating risk management in the development of the fertilizer market in West Africa.
The training program will allow all interested fertilizer stakeholders to create networks for future exchanges and enhanced linkages, mainstreaming of approaches and long-lasting professional collaborations and strategic alliances.
Who Should Attend
A value chain refers to a sequence of activities performed by different actors by which value is added during every activity. This training program will be as inclusive of all stakeholders as possible. It is designed to meet expectations of all the stakeholders in the fertilizer value chain in Africa, notably the fertilizer importers, wholesalers, representatives of fertilizer dealers’ associations, farmers’ organizations at regional levels, financial institutions, Regional Economic Communities, UN agencies and other international development agencies, NGOs, African Governments and ministries involved in agriculture, trade, economic planning and policies, procurement, standards and quality control.
The course will cover various topics. Topics to be addressed by a faculty of experts include but are not limited to:
- Fertilizer value chain conceptual framework.
- Value chain approach and fertilizer value chain mapping.
- Vertical and horizontal linkages in the fertilizer value chain.
- Case studies on fertilizer value chains in Africa including exercises on the relative contributions of the major costs to total price.
- Upgrading the fertilizer value chain.
- Risk management conceptual framework including quantitative and qualitative analysis of risks.
- Fertilizer risks mapping and analysis along the value chain including assignments of "risk owners."
- Impact of risks on fertilizer value chain competitiveness.
- Risks management strategies and tools along the fertilizer value chain.
- The role of information management, including the use of cell phone-based communication among value chain stakeholders (for example, polling and aggregating fertilizer needs from farmers prior to the season and communicating data to dealers and importers).
- Lessons learned from field visits (e.g., the Tema port, fertilizer warehouse, farmers' fields and demonstration plots).
Adult learning cycle will be the principal method of training. This will cover theory as well as practice in the work group sessions, case studies and field visits. Both analytical and case study approaches will be used to help develop analytical and planning skills. The interaction of participants, with the faculty and among themselves, will help everyone learn from the experiences of others and reinforce the program lessons. Group discussions and recommendations will form a critical core of training deliberations. A one-day field trip will be included.
The program will be facilitated by IFDC specialists in fertilizer value chain development and risk assessment and management. In addition, highly experienced external resource persons in several aspects of the fertilizer industry will act as guest speakers.
The training will take place in Accra, Ghana, at the Erata Hotel – a three star facility situated in the serene environs of East Legon and residential area in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Conveniently located, it is a 10-minute drive from the Kotoka International Airport, 30-minute drive to Accra City Center or Aburi Botanical Gardens, 20-minute drive and 5-minute drive to the University of Ghana. Erata Hotel has over 50 well furnished, air-conditioned rooms. Participants will be extended IFDC’s special rate of US $80 (standard room) per person, per day, breakfast included.
Ouagadougou Avenue, Okponglo, East Legon
P.O. Box KIA 9968
Telephone: + 233 21 50 6343/51 5192/51 5193/51 5194
Telefax: +233 21 50 5119
E-Mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants will be responsible for reservation and payment of accommodations at the Erata Hotel. Participants should plan to arrive in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday, June 20.
Visa and Medical Insurance
APPLICATIONS FOR VISAS SHOULD BE MADE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. In many countries, six to eight weeks are required to process visa applications. Participants who are not eligible to enter Ghana without a visa should apply at the nearest applicable embassy for a visa. If you are unsure about any travel visa requirements, please access the following link for requirements: www.visahq.com or contact your local embassy. All required immunizations and health formalities should be completed. Medical insurance should be obtained by participants. The fee does not cover any medical insurance or expenses.
Cost and Enrollment
The program fee for this five-day course is US $1,200 per participant. This fee is due with enrollment but no later than May 21, 2010. A non-refundable deposit of US $200 is required with each registration. The deposit will be credited toward the program fee, which is due four weeks before the program is scheduled. Thereafter, a Late Fee in the amount of US $200 will apply. The program fee, less the deposit, will be refunded for cancellations made two weeks before the commencement of the program; thereafter, 90 percent of the paid fee will be returned and 10 percent, in addition to the deposit, will be charged to cover administrative costs.
Registration will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Paid participants will receive priority. Payment of the program fee can be made by (1) check or draft payable to IFDC; (2) wire transfer to IFDC account in the U.S.A. through First Metro Bank, 406 West Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., ABA number 062203955 for credit to IFDC Account number 55281; or (3) major credit card—MasterCard, Visa, or American Express.
The workshop fee covers registration, training and reference material, coffee/tea breaks, all lunches and surface transportation when applicable. The fee does not include air travel, lodging and dinner expenses, or medical and communication expenses. Participants should plan to arrive in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday, June 20.
IFDC is a nonprofit, public international organization (PIO) dedicated to increasing agricultural productivity and food production through the development and use of plant nutrients in sustainable crop production systems. Headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., IFDC is involved in human resource development, research and technical assistance in collaboration with public, private, national and international organizations throughout the world. IFDC has conducted more than 700 formal workshops, study tours and training programs for about 10,000 participants from 150 countries since 1974. The programs have covered a wide range of subjects including integrated soil fertility management and fertilizer use efficiency, fertilizer production technology, agro-input dealership, competitive marketing, supply chain management, investment analysis, policy reforms and numerous specialized topics.
For more information:
Director, Training and Workshop Coordination Unit
P.O. Box 2040
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662, U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 (256) 381-6600 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +1 (256) 381-6600 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Telefax: +1 (256) 381-7408
As a nonprofit organization, IFDC does not finance or sponsor any participant.