Market Assessment

Policy Options for Improving Regional Fertiliser Markets in West Africa, 2011

    This study by Balu L. Bumb, Michael E. Johnson, and Porfirio A. Fuentes analyses inefficiencies and bottlenecks in fertiliser markets in West Africa, identifies areas where fertiliser suppply chain costs can be reduced and offers a number of policy options for improving fertiliser markets. The study is based on four country case studies (Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal, complemented by literature review and secondary data sources.

    Summary of results
    The report provides the following recommendations based on the common key constraints identified.

    - Creating a policy environment conducive to fertiliser market development

    - Improving supply-side innefficiencies:
    - removing tariff and non-tariff barriers
    - improving port operations
    - removing transportation bottlenecks
    - development of efficient trade corridors
    - exploring the feasibility of regional fertiliser holding warehouses

    - Rationalising fertiliser policies, products and institutional arrangements
    - rationalising fertiliser products
    - strengthening regulatory systems
    - improving access to finance and marketing services
    - strengthening human and institutional capacity

    - Demand-side considerations
    - improving linkages between farmers and input and output markets
    through a variety of institutional arrangements such as producer
    associations, farmer groups, and cooperatives
    - strengthen R&D systems in the region
    - improving extension and technology transfer, for example by developing
    “seeding” programs to demonstrate the use of new fertilizer products
    on a large scale and by training agrodealers to disseminate knowledge
    about new agricultural practices

    - Major demand-side constraints include:
    - outdated fertiliser recommendations
    - inadequate research and extension support
    - inadequate access to finance or credit
    - underdeveloped output markets
    - production risk
    - and limited purchasing power

    - Exploring the development of a regional fertiliser market