The President of the African Development Bank Group (AFDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina on a three-day official visit to Washington DC raised an alarm that the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia has created a fertilizer crisis which could cost Africa’s food production $10 billion.
According to the United Nations, Russia is the top supplier of nitrogen fertilizers and the second top exporter of potassium fertilizers. With the continuous invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the world power has attracted sanctions limiting or stopping the exportation of some of its products such as fertilizers.
- The reduction in the exportation of Russia’s fertilizer of 50 million tonnes per year or 13% of global total supply has created a supply gap in the world’s demand.
- Also, the war pushed up the global price of natural gas, an important ingredient for producing fertilizer.
- Invariably, food production is being threatened as the cost of fertilizer prices keeps rising.
What they are saying
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of AfDB at a meeting with 15 finance ministers of the African Union’s Group, suggested a plan for a massive food production. He also stressed the need for a “more flexible and substantial replenishment of the African Development Fund”.
Dangote’s urea plant
The recently commissioned urea plant is the biggest in Africa and second largest in the world, with an estimate of three million metric tonnes of urea per year. This figure would add to West Africa’s urea production of 3.1 million tons. Although its capacity will not replace Russia’s supply, it can serve Nigeria and Africa’s demands.