Mbumba calls for intense investment in local fertiliser production

Niël Terblanché

In an address at the Africa Fertiliser and Soil Health Summit in Kenya on Thursday, President Nangolo Mbumba stressed the critical role of local fertiliser production in tackling Africa’s food security and sovereignty challenges.

President Mbumba, while speaking at his first African Union Summit since assuming office, outlined Namibia’s ambitious plans to harness its abundant wind and solar resources to produce three million metric tonnes of green ammonia annually.

While pointing out the environmental and economic benefits of green ammonia, a byproduct of green hydrogen, Mbumba called on potential investors to explore opportunities not just in Namibia but across the continent.

“With increased local production of green ammonia, which is one of the ingredients necessary to produce fertilisers, our continent can augment food production,” he said.

According to Mbumba, the shift will enable Africa to reduce its reliance on imported fertilisers, which is crucial for enhancing food security and sovereignty as well as economic stability.

He also spoke about the challenges posed by soil degradation and the indiscriminate use of fertilisers.

He called for a balanced approach that integrates organic inputs and conservation agriculture practices.

The President also stressed the importance of adopting sustainable agricultural systems that do not compromise environmental health.

He emphasised the significance of intra-African trade, which the African Continental Free-Trade Area facilitates, as a means to enhance the accessibility and affordability of agricultural produce throughout the continent.

According to Mbumba, Namibia’s commitment to enhancing agricultural productivity is evidenced by the country’s active participation in the development of the Harmonised Fertiliser Regulatory Framework with other Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states.

“This initiative aims to improve the accessibility and quality of fertilisers across the region, aligning with the goals of the 2006 Abuja Declaration on Fertilisers for an African Green Revolution,” he added.

Mbumba urged fellow member states of the African Union to support local fertiliser production and expressed hope that the summit’s list of resolutions will reflect new plans and strategies.

He added that by fostering collaboration, innovation, and investment in agricultural development, Africa can overcome the challenges facing its agriculture sector, unlock its full potential, and ensure the well-being of its growing population.

“As Africans, let us work together in unison and remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing the goals of food security, poverty reduction, and sustainable development across the continent,” Mbumba concluded.

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