Food security – “Save Crops Operation” meeting (11 november 2022)


Following on from the Save Crops Operation, which M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, launched on 23 September 2022 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Mme Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, convened a meeting of the African Union Commission, the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Afreximbank, the Gates Foundation and major European and African fertilizer producers, to provide solutions to the current global fertilizer crisis caused by the Russian war in Ukraine, and its impact on the European and African continents.

Together, public and private partners agreed to lay the foundations for a Euro-African partnership which will increase the two continents’ mutual resilience in terms of access to fertilizers in the specific situation of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. With this in mind, they pledged to:

  • Support the WFP’s efforts to deliver fertilizers to the African countries which need it most, in close coordination with the African Union and all the international organizations concerned. The solidarity of public and private stakeholders will be essential in this respect. The Minister announced a further contribution of €7.5 million to pay for the WFP to deliver fertilizers to Africa. In response to the emergency, the Minister also announced financial support from France for the next operations by the WFP to deliver Russian fertilizers present in Europe to Africa.
  • Increase the African continent’s market power by swiftly making operational the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) mechanism, which aims to pool African partners’ demand, reduce purchase prices and give priority to buying what is produced in Africa. A “friends of ATEX group” bringing together willing partners will meet regularly to support the functioning of the ATEX mechanism.
  • Develop a Euro-African fertilizer market over the medium term, which will give priority to speeding up sustainable fertilizer production capacities on both continents. To achieve this, the participants agreed to organize a regular dialogue between the European and African private sectors and mobilize the European financing and guarantee instruments.

These commitments will be regularly reviewed, in particular ahead of the next African Union summit of heads of State and government.