Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa


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Fertilizer has enormous potential to help Sub-Saharan Africa achieve
food security. But its farmers use less fertilizer than anywhere in
the world. So far it has proved too expensive for many smallholders,
and in some cases its misuse has actually led to the deterioration
of soil fertility. As this briefing explains, to reverse this trend and
to encourage the optimum use of fertilizer, lessons must be learned
from past experience.


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Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa

  1. 1. Briefing Paper Number 3 | 2012 GDN Agriculture Policy Series Improving the Saa Dittoh Olubunmi Omotosho effectiveness, efficiency Adama Belemvire and sustainability Margaret Akuriba Khondoker Haider of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa Fertilizer has enormous potential to help Sub-Saharan Africa achieve A man squats on a field looking food security. But its farmers use less fertilizer than anywhere in over failed crops in the Kobo region, Ethiopia. Sub-Saharan Africa has yet the world. So far it has proved too expensive for many smallholders, to realize the potential of fertilizer and in some cases its misuse has actually led to the deterioration for improving yields. of soil fertility. As this briefing explains, to reverse this trend and frederic courbet | panos pictures to encourage the optimum use of fertilizer, lessons must be learned from past experience. This briefing paper is one of the Key messages 10-part Global Development Network (GDN) Agriculture Policy Fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa is p Policy formulation in the region has p Series for its project, ‘Supporting low because of poor inherent soil fertility, not always been based on critical Policy Research to Inform agronomic and economic analyses Agricultural Policy in Sub-Saharan poor extension services, constraints to Africa and South Asia’. It is based fertilizer availability and limited availability of the advantages and disadvantages on a longer synthesis paper, of complementary inputs. as well as opportunities and challenges Improving the effectiveness, facing Sub-Saharan African farmers. efficiency and sustainability The profitability of fertilizer use in p of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Agricultural policymakers in the Africa, which draws on extensive the region is lower than elsewhere in the region must move away from the published and unpublished developing world, reflecting low crop research. The full paper ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy and response to fertilizer, the region’s poorly can be downloaded at: each country must implement policies developed marketing systems, its difficult that consider the diversity of its will be of value to policymakers, It production environment (transport, agricultural production system. experts and civil society working distance to markets) and the unstable to improve agriculture in prices of outputs. Fertilizer use can be improved by p Sub-Saharan Africa. increasing farmers’ knowledge and This project is supported by the skills, by developing fertilizer distribution Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. systems through the private sector and nurturing current fertilizer subsidy programs in Sub-Saharan African countries to maturity. Briefing Paper Number 3 Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa 1
  2. 2. Overview Mazire Odadi stores sacks of fertilizer at her home in Dickson village, Malawi. Smallholder farmers like Mazire have benefited from subsidized fertilizer. jan banning | panos pictures Fertilizer is part of the technological trinity Response to fertilizer policies has (improved seed, irrigation and fertilizer) varied widely, ranging from Kenya’s which created the Green Revolution largely successful market reform policies in Latin America and Asia. Its adequate and in the mid-1980s and early 1990s efficient use is one of the main ingredients to Malawi’s debatable ‘successful’ in achieving food security in the region, state intervention and subsidy policies yet the average fertilizer use intensity in (see case study on pp4–5). Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the lowest in Fertilizer subsidy has been seen as the world. Insufficient use of fertilizer has an effective way to kick-start innovation, hindered growth in agricultural productivity stimulate rapid market development, and to some extent jeopardized the both at farm level and industry level, quality of soil and its continued fertility in and counteract soil fertility depletion. a number of Sub-Saharan African countries. Yet in practice the outcomes of Over the years, government fertilizer the fertilizer subsidies have generally policies have followed a general trend: not been satisfactory. state interventions and subsidies in With rising food security concerns, fertilizer the 1960s and 1970s, the introduction subsidies have re-emerged in recent years, of liberalized markets and the removal with innovative approaches introduced of subsidies in the 1980s and 1990s, and to address pitfalls from the past. Yet current a return to a policy of moderate state subsidy programs still face problems. intervention in recent years. The paper suggests that the contribution of fertilizer programs to reducing poverty Methods and hunger would be higher if they could be designed and implemented so as to This briefing analyzes the agronomic response (effectiveness), target poor households, and areas where profitability (efficiency) and sustainability of fertilizer use and presents fertilizer will give positive net economic fertilizer-related agricultural policy experiences of Sub-Saharan African benefits, and to promote rather than countries, as well as lessons learnt. undercut the development of a commercial It is based on a literature review and analysis of leading journals, fertilizer distribution system. reports of institutions such as the World Bank, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), agricultural/fertilizer policy documents, published and unpublished research materials from local sources such as ministries, research institutions, universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and through discussions with farmers, researchers, policymakers and politicians in several African countries. 2 Briefing Paper Number 3 Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa
  3. 3. Boosting Africa’s agricultural productivity The three criteria for a fertilizer evaluation In order to examine the effectiveness of fertilizer use, it is necessary to Effectiveness: is the fertilizer achieving question whether fertilizer is achieving its full agronomic purpose? its full agronomic purpose. In examining Efficiency: are the crop improvement efficiency the review looked at returns significantly greater than the whether the returns on fertilizer use cost of fertilizer? are significantly greater than the cost of fertilizer itself. This analysis Sustainability: will the fertilizer discusses crop response rates, the ensure improvement of the soil and price ratios of fertilizers to crop its sustainability? outputs, the production risk (availability of transport, distribution) and the availability of credit to the small farmer. Africa’s fertilizer use: the lowest in Sustainability measures the extent the world to which fertilizer use will ensure that agricultural production and productivity Numerous studies show that substantial can improve and at the same time gains in agricultural productivity in sustain soil quality for future generations. Sub-Saharan Africa can be achieved by increasing the use of fertilizer and improving its efficiency. Experiences outside Africa also highlight the key‘ e are not adopting the improved W role of fertilizer in boosting agricultural maize varieties because without productivity. Despite this growing evidence, adequate fertilizer you will get nothing farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa still have and we have very limited access to fertilizer.’ the lowest average fertilizer use at around 10 kg/ha. Farmer in Zanlerigu The profitability of fertilizer use to Upper East Region, Ghana farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa is also lower interviewed by research team than elsewhere in the developing world, reflecting the low crop response to fertilizer, the region’s poorly developed Fertilizer use in other regions marketing systems and its difficult production environment (transport, Asia 222 kg/ha storage). Studies using value–cost ratio (VCR), i.e. the ratio of the technical crop Oceania 160 kg/ha response to fertilizer use and the nutrient/ output price, are clear indicators of South America 138 kg/ha Africa’s low profitability of fertilizer use. The contrast between the limited Source: Hernandez and Torreo (2011) use of fertilizer in Sub-Saharan Africa and its use in other developing regions Increase in crop yields: 1962–2008 has stimulated a considerable number of policy initiatives. During the Africa South Asia 1 to 2.6 t/ha Fertilizer Summit in 2006, African leaders made a unanimous commitment to East Asia 1.5 to 5.4 t/ha take immediate action to solve Africa’s fertilizer crisis. Sub-Saharan Africa 0.8 to 1.5 t/ha (due to low and inefficient use of fertilizer) Source: Hunt (2011) Briefing Paper Number 3 Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa 3
  4. 4. The challenges in more detail Subsidies: a checkered history However, recent food security concerns have sparked renewed interest in fertilizer Fertilizer subsidy has always been central subsidies. Innovative approaches – including to the fertilizer policy of countries in input vouchers, demonstration packs, Sub-Saharan Africa. All countries in the matching grants, credit guarantees and region have implemented fertilizer subsidy weather insurance – have been piloted schemes at some point, with the level of to stimulate fertilizer use. Subsidies subsidy varying from quite modest (20 per should now address not only demand cent or less) to as high as 90 per cent. In and supply constraints but also function practice the outcomes of fertilizer subsidies in a transparent and cost-effective manner. have generally not been satisfactory. However, despite the innovations, existing Empirical studies on their cost effectiveness fertilizer subsidy programs are not immune suggest that their high costs exceeded to problems that beset them in the past, their benefits. such as the unsustainable burden on government budgets, crowding out the private sector and late delivery. Kenya, Lake Naivasha. Grow trays with combinations of compost and fertilizer at Oserian Farm, the biggest of its type in Africa. steve forrest | panos pictures Kenya: a successful transition Kenya is one of the few countries that has successfully implemented fertilizer market reform policy and substantially increased its total fertilizer consumption. From the mid-1980s the government encouraged private firms to enter the market while initially maintaining tight controls. In 1993 the government completely withdrew from the fertilizer market and abandoned price controls, ushering in successful market reform. Several factors played a role in Kenya’s success. First, prior to the market reform period, state-led fertilizer policies were successful in increasing fertilizer use among smallholders. A great number of farmers learned about high-yielding varieties of crops and inorganic fertilizers. Second, Kenya had a strong cash crop sector which maintained a high and stable demand for fertilizer. Fertilizer importers and distributors were, therefore, willing to make the initial investments in facilities to import and store large amounts of fertilizer, thus reducing its retail price. Third, farmers received fertilizer credits from cooperatives and processing firms to apply fertilizer on their cash crops. This combined to help Kenya make a smooth transition from the state-led fertilizer system to a market-oriented fertilizer system that ultimately led to higher fertilizer consumption. For more information on this case study, see pp10–11 of the synthesis report, Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa, available at: www.agripolicyoutreach.org4 Briefing Paper Number 3 Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa
  5. 5. Women working on farmland in Mutumba, Burundi, belonging to the Twitezimbere Abakenyezi Association. Women in the association learn about the production of seeds, how to produce manure, and how to prevent soil erosion. dieter telemans | panos pictures Boosting domestic productivity ‘ ertilizer and drought F of fertilizer are not friends. If we Sub-Saharan Africa also produces suspect that there the lowest levels of fertilizer in the world. Due to limited availability of raw materials will be drought (after and inadequate infrastructure, production planting) it is not wise of nutrients in the region has been to use fertilizers.’ concentrated in just four countries: Zimbabwe, Senegal, Nigeria and Mauritius. Burkinabe farmer The amount of nutrients consumed in Burkina Faso the region is approximately 10 times the amount produced and therefore many Sub-Saharan African countries rely heavily on imports. To improve fertilizer use Malawi’s voucher program – can it be sustained? Sub-Saharan African countries must also expand their domestic production capacity. Malawi eliminated universal fertilizer subsidies for smallholders in the mid-1990s, but reintroduced limited subsidies in 1998 through the Taking soil quality into account Starter Pack program, which gave all farmers 10 to 15 kg of fertilizer and enough improved seeds to plant 0.1 of a hectare. In 2000 the Another factor in the failure to achieve program was converted into the Targeted Input Program (TIP), which the full potential of fertilizers is poor distributed the packs to a targeted group of farmers. In 2005 the soil fertility. This is often a result of program was again redesigned as the Agricultural Inputs Subsidy mismanagement of fertilizer at the Program (AISP), a voucher-based universal subsidy program that allowed farm level and the failure of extension farmers to buy 100 kg of fertilizer at about one fifth of the market services to inform farmers about price, thus dramatically increasing both the quantity of fertilizer being appropriate technology, as well as poor subsidized and the fiscal cost of the subsidy. The program led to availability of fertilizer and a lack of significant increases in maize production and productivity, and resulted complementary inputs such as improved in some economic growth and poverty reduction. The main driving seeds and irrigation. force for the modest success story was the relatively good targeting African soils also pose particular challenges of the program. However, the program resulted in a very heavy burden for agriculture in terms of their fertility, on Malawi’s national budget. More than 60 per cent of the national acidity and drainage. Land use practices budget was devoted to agriculture, mainly because of the subsidy. That and harsh climatic conditions over the years alone is enough reason to question the sustainability and long-term have further degraded the soil through impact of the program on smallholder welfare and the nation. nutrient mining by crops, leaching and For more information on this case study, see pp12–13 of the synthesis report, inadequate erosion control. Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa, available at: Briefing Paper Number 3 Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa 5
  6. 6. Countries grouped by average Value-cost ratio levels of losses of nitrogen, with 35 kg N/ha phosphorus and potassium application in (kg/ha per year), 2002–04 some East African cropping seasons countries Moderate/low Country Market access Less than 30 kg/ha kg/ha High Medium Low Average Egypt 9 Burundi 2.5 2.0 2.0 2.25 Mauritius 15 Kenya 2.75 2.25 1.5 2.25 South Africa 23 Rwanda 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.75 Zambia 25 Tanzania 3.25 2.75 1.25 2.5 Source: Morocco 27 Uganda 3.0 2.0 1.75 2.0 Guo, Koo and Wood, Algeria 28 Total 2.75 2.25 1.5 2.25 2009 Medium 30 kg/ha–60 kg/ha kg/ha The continuing diminishment of plant Increasing profitability Libya 33 nutrients through leaching, erosion and The profitability of fertilizer, as measured Swaziland 37 nutrient mining can lead to irreversible by its value-cost ratio (VCR), i.e. the Senegal 41 soil degradation and soil infertility unless ratio of the technical crop response Tunisia 42 concerted and committed efforts are to fertilizer use and the nutrient/output Burkina Faso 43 made by actors from a variety of sectors. price, depends on the crop price, fertilizer Benin 44 Both private and public sectors, scientific price and the response of the crop to Cameroon 44 and policy organizations, and industrialized fertilizer application. Profitability can Sierra Leone 46 and developing countries can help to be increased by: Botswana 47 intensify future agricultural production through the trilogy of seeds, fertilizer Selecting the most appropriate type p Sudan 47 and irrigation. This will help to conserve of fertilizer (percentages and types Togo 47 the natural resource base and prevent the of nutrients). Côte D’Ivoire 48 Ethiopia 49 further degradation that has characterized Using the most efficient application p Mali 49 African soil for generations. method (type, number and timing Djibuti 50 of applications). Mozambique 51 Improved water control p Zimbabwe 53 (e.g. smallholder irrigation). Niger 56 Better management of the fertilized p Chad 57 crop (timely weeding, adequate pest Nigeria 57 control, timely harvest and proper Eritrea 58 post-harvest techniques). Ghana 58 Fertilizer prices in Sub-Saharan Africa High Greater than 60 kg/ha kg/ha are generally high because of the low volumes of production, poor infrastructure Tanzania 61 for its storage and transport, low Mauritania 63 population densities, and inadequate Congo Republic 64 and costly financial services to allow Guinea 64 52-year-old Jane Chisi stands in her small farmers to borrow for fertilizer Lesotho 65 maize field in the community of on a future crop. Madagascar 65 Ekwaiweni, Northern Malawi. Farmers’ Liberia 66 profits can be improved by selecting the Even if fertilizer achieves VCRs above Uganda 66 most appropriate fertilizer. the minimum required (3–4), there frederic courbet | panos pictures Democratic Republic 68 is still no guarantee that a farmer will use of Congo it. Highly volatile output prices from one Kenya 68 season to another and production risk Central Africa Republic 69 make it very difficult for farmers to assess Gabon 69 the eventual benefit of fertilizer use. Angola 70 Gambia 71 Studies using VCR are clear indicators Malawi 72 of the low profitability of fertilizer use Guinea Bissau 73 throughout the region. Namibia 73 Burundi 77 Rwanda 77 Source: Equitorial Guinea 83 Henao and Baanante, Somalia 88 2006 6 Briefing Paper Number 3 Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa
  7. 7. Recommendations The following recommendations Stepping up production of fertilizer p indicate several areas where more focused Fertilizer-producing countries in policies are required to increase the Sub-Saharan Africa should build effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability production plants at locations close to of fertilizer use. major consumption areas or input supply Adapting to Africa’s diversity p centers based on sound feasibility studies. Such expansion should also be The current ‘same fertilizer for all soils’ supported by better storage, handling practice is a major contributor to both low and transport facilities. fertilizer use by farmers and ineffectiveness in the region. The nutrient-supplying p Distributing fertilizer efficiently capacity of soils must be taken into Fertilizer distribution through the private consideration and appropriate mechanisms sector should be developed to ensure should be developed to assess the location an efficient supply chain. Government and crop-specific fertilizer requirements investment in transportation and market based on soil types and agro-ecological infrastructure will reduce input costs zones. This information, along with and secure improved producer prices. crop-specific recommendations, should Development of market information be disseminated to farmers through systems, institutions for contract extension services. enforcement, and telecommunications Information is crucial p will attract new investments by commodity marketing firms. Extension services must be strengthened to improve their responsiveness to the p Better targeted subsidy programs needs of farmers. The contribution of fertilizer subsidy Existing extension service system p programs would be higher if they: must be well equipped and adequately Target households with little ability to p staffed to cover the large number afford fertilizer. of small famers. Target areas where applying fertilizer can p Extension agents should receive p actually give positive net economic benefits. regular training so that they can transfer Promote rather than undercut the p appropriate location and crop-specific development of a commercial fertilizer knowledge to farmers. distribution system. Extension agents, both public and p Function in a transparent and cost-effective p private, should use participatory manner, and follow an exit strategy methods involving feedback from farmers. Relationships should be established to Declare well in advance the allocation p exchange information and disseminate of fertilizer subsidies. technologies which address current and Are run in conjunction with other long-term p longer-term farmer needs. agriculture development strategies, such as investment in agricultural extension and Fertilizer cannot do the job alone p research service and infrastructure. Fertilizer use requires complementary Are nurtured to maturity, thus becoming p inputs such as investment in soil unnecessary in the shortest possible time. and water conservation for efficient and optimal nutrient uptake. The public and private sector should consider a partnership to improve complementary inputs, such as irrigation, soil conservation and erosion control.Briefing Paper Number 3 Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa 7
  8. 8. Key references The full paper Improving the effectiveness, African Union (2006) Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for the Babatunde Olaniyan, Sheu Salau use in Sub-Saharan Africa is available for African Green Revolution, Declaration and James Sackey (2011) download at of the African Union Special Summit ‘ Review of Fertilizer Policy Issues A It was written by: of the Heads of State and Government, in Nigeria’, Policy Note No. 28, Prof. Saa Dittoh Abuja, Nigeria Abuja: International Food Policy University of Development Studies, Ghana Esther Duflo, Michael Kremer and Research Institute Prof. Olubunmi Omotosho Jonathan Robinson (2003) Michael Morris, Valerie A Kelly, University of Ilorin, Nigeria Understanding Technology Ron Kopicki and Derek Byerlee (2007) Adama Belemvire Adoption – Fertilizer in Western Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture: Alliance Technology Development Assistance, Kenya: Preliminary Results from Field Lessons Learned and Good Practice Burkino Faso Experiments, Cambridge, Mass.: Guidelines, Washington DC: World Bank Massachusetts Institute of Technology Margaret Akuriba M Mujeri, K Haider, S Shahana, University of Development Studies, Ghana R E Evenson and D Gollin (2003) and T Chowdhury (2012) Khondoker Haider ‘ ssessing the Impact of the Green A ‘ mproving the Effectiveness, Efficiency I University of Oxford, UK Revolution 1960 to 2000’, Science, vol 300, and Sustainability of Fertilizer Use’, no 5620, pp758–762 Global Development Network and reviewed by Prof. T. S. Jayne D I Gregory and A H Roy (2005) Michigan State University, USA ‘ ertilizer & Food Security: IFDC Voucher F M A Smaling, S M Nandwa and E Programme for Farm Inputs’, paper B H Janssen (1997) P roject Steering Committee presented at the 11th International ‘ oil Fertility in Africa is at Stake’ in S Senior Advisors Annual Conference of the Arab Replenishing Soil Fertility in Africa, eds Fertilizer Association, Cairo, Egypt, R J Buresh, P A Sanchez and F Calhoun, Prof. Per Pinstrup-Andersen 1–3 February, 2005 Madison: Soil Science Society of America Cornell University, USA Prof. T. S. Jayne Zhe Guo, Jawoo Koo and Tavneet Suri (2007) Michigan State University, USA Stanley Wood (2009) ‘ election and Comparative Advantage S ‘ ertilizer profitability in East Africa: F in Technology Adoption’, Yale University Prof. William A. Masters A spatially explicit policy analysis’, paper Economic Growth Center Discussion Tufts University, USA presented at the International Association Paper No 944, Cambridge, Mass.: Prof. Alexandros Sarris of Agricultural Economists Conference, MIT Sloan School of Management University of Athens, Greece 16–22 August, 2009, Beijing, China P Tittonell, B Vanlauwe, M Corbeels Prof. David Zilberman Julio Henao and Carlos Baanante (2006) and K Giller (2008) University of California, Berkeley, USA ‘ gricultural Production and Soil A ‘ ield gaps, nutrient use efficiencies Y Project Management Team Nutrient Mining in Africa: Implications and response to fertilisers by maize for Resource Conservation and Policy across heterogeneous smallholder Principal Advisor Development’, IFDC Technical Bulletin, farms of western Kenya’, Plant and Soil, Prof. Douglas Gollin Alabama: International Fertilizer 2008, no 313, pp19–37 Williams College, USA Development Center Project Director Thomas Tomich, Peter Kilby and Dr. George Mavrotas Manuel Hernandez and Bruce F Johnston (1995) Chief Economist, GDN Maximo Torero (2011) Transforming Agrarian Economies: ‘ ertilizer Market Situation: F Opportunities Seized, Opportunities Deputy Project Director Market Structure, Consumption and Missed, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Tuhin Sen Trade Patterns, and Pricing Behavior’, Press Lead Strategist, GDN IFPRI Discussion Paper 1058, David Weight and Valerie Kelly (1999) Washington DC: International Food Project Consultant ‘ ertilizer Impacts on Soils and Crops of F Policy Research Institute Nupur Suri Sub-Saharan Africa’, MSU International iana Hunt (2011) D Development Paper 21, Department Policy Outreach Analyst ‘ reen Revolutions for Africa’, G of Agricultural Economics, East Lansing, Vinaina Suri African Agriculture Programme Paper: Mich.: Michigan State University you wish to reproduce or build upon this work, If AFP 2011/01, London: Chatham House Z Xu, Z Guan, T Jayne, and R Black (2009) please contact Global Development Network (GDN). T Jayne, J Govereh, M Wanzala and ‘ actors influencing the profitability F © Global Development Network M Demeke (2003) of fertilizer use on maize in Zambia’, ‘ ertilizer market development: F Agricultural Economics, vol 40, no 4, Designed and produced for GDN by Panos London, a comparative analysis of Ethiopia, pp437–446. Kenya, and Zambia’, Food Policy, D Yanggen, V Kelly, T Reardon and All photographs © Panos Pictures, vol 28, no 4, August 2003, pp293–316 A Naseem (1998) All rights reserved. Thomas Jayne, Robert Myers and ‘ ncentives for Fertilizer Use in I James Nyoro (2008) Sub-Saharan Africa: a review Further information ‘ ffects of Government Maize Marketing E of empirical evidence on fertilizer more information on the ‘Supporting For Policies on Maize Prices in Kenya’, response and profitability’, Policy Research to Inform Agricultural Policy in Tegemeo Working Paper 15/2005, International Development Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia’ project visit: Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy Working Paper No. 70, East Lansing, and Development Mich.: Michigan State University Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Kelly, A Adesina and A Gordon (2003) V ‘ xpanding access to agricultural inputs E in Africa: a review of recent market development experience’, Food Policy, vol 28, no 4, August 2003, pp379–404 ew Delhi | Cairo | Washington DC N 8 Briefing Paper Number 3 Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa