Why is transformation needed in this program area?

Agricultural transformation is closely linked to the increased utilization of inputs, particularly improved seeds and chemical fertilizers. Despite successful field demonstrations and several policy level interventions since the late 1970s, it is only recently that fertilizer consumption has begun to increase sharply.

While consumption has in fact tripled in the past decade, it is still far behind other African and fast developing countries of the world. The national average fertilizer consumption remains at 23.8 kg/ha, in contrast to a 62.0 kg/ha world average, 39.4kg/ha in Ghana, 141.3 in South Africa and 181.7 in Brazil.

Moreover, while the recent introduction of new types of fertilizers such as NPS and micronutrients has shown great potential in improving overall soil fertility and management and hence improved productivity of crops, the fertilizer value chain is still constrained by a range of challenges. For example, significant volumes of fertilizer are carried over every year, the sophistication of demand estimation mechanisms is limited, quality assurance systems do not exist widely, and storage capacity is very low. As such, addressing such critical challenges in the fertilizer value chain remains strategically important for the country.

What are the objectives of this program area during GTP II?

The program aims to improve farmers’ access to quality fertilizers, including blended fertilizers, through multiple channels to achieve a sustainable increase in the production and productivity of strategic and high value crops. The program aims at transforming fertilizer marketing in Ethiopia by increasing domestic fertilizer production capacity, improving multichannel distribution, and enhancing institutional capacities for quality assurance.

What are the focus areas of this program?

During the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), the focus of this program is on increasing local production and availability to farmers of custom-made fertilizers based on specific local needs. This requires the creation of new infrastructure for quality testing to check whether fertilizers are made and distributed according to pre-set quality standards. To attract private investment and introduce innovative technologies in the blending industry, focus will take place on the enabling environment for engaging multiple stakeholders. Enhancing this enabling environment requires improving the legal, infrastructural and financial conditions that motivate investors to operate in the industry.

Maintaining the production of custom-made fertilizers is not sufficient by itself. During GTP II, improving the supply system that enables fabricated fertilizers to reach end users will also require due attention. Thus, a multi-channeled fertilizer supply system is planned for creation in order to address smallholder farmer needs on time, at affordable prices and at the required location.