Morocco tops the list of the largest-fertiliser producing countries in Africa. Other countries on the list are Egypt and Algeria.
The imports are mainly due to the lack of low-cost raw materials for production, low utilisation and high capital requirements for investment in production facilities.
According to the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), over 40 per cent of African soils face nutrient depletion, partly because of a failure to apply sufficient levels of fertilisers.
Farmers in most countries are increasing their application levels, and hence the average fertiliser application rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase to 22 kilograms per hectare by the end of 2022 from 16kg/ha by 2022. Even if achieved, this will be below the recommended level of 100kg/ha.
In Africa, the production of the material is concentrated in the northern parts of the continent. Farmers in the said countries use more fertiliser than their counterparts in the other countries, buoyed by developed factories. Research by Global Market Insights In revealed that the fertiliser market globally was valued at US$ 193.3 billion in 2021. It’s predicted that this will reach US$240 billion by 2030.
Top fertiliser-producing countries in Africa:
Morocco boasts a huge 50 million tonnes of phosphorous reserves. Its natural gas reserves are estimated at 1.5 million tonnes. Natural gas deposits are used for fertiliser production. The North African country’s estimated production of phosphorous fertiliser is 12 million tonnes annually.
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The country hopes to increase production by another 8.2 million tonnes by 2026.
As reported by The Conversation, Morocco accounts for 54 per cent of phosphate fertilisers bought in the continent. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it supplied major markets across the world, including India, Brazil and European countries. Alongside Russia, China and Canada, it is regarded as one of the world’s top fertiliser exporters.