Phosphate is essential to agriculture and is one of the few raw materials for which there is no substitute and which can be recovered in only small amounts. For some countries, Senegal and Togo in particular, it is one of the main sources of foreign currency.
The availability of fertilizer when it is needed is a crucial factor in increasing food production. The valorisation of phosphate entails the production of phosphoric acid as an essential intermediate or that of phosphate fertilizers. For the ACP countries, the valorisation of phosphate is a key, since on the one hand it helps to meet the ever growing demand for phosphate products and offers a use for a locally available raw material, on the other.
Two approaches may be considered:
- For countries with small deposits, the production of ground phosphate and super phosphate is suitable because these are fertilizers requiring only simple technologies and relatively low investments;
- For countries with large deposits, in particular Togo and Senegal, the only promising channel is the production of triple superphosphate for regional and international markets.
The aim of this inventory is to inform and attract promoters in ACP countries by describing the opportunities which the phosphate industry can offer. It also provides basic data to guide , the choice of production processes, technologies and suppliers of equipment.