Global fertilizer industry reaffirms focus on balanced plant nutrition for long-term growth and sustainability 


Delegates from 72 countries champion role of nutrient management in meeting Sustainable Development Goals and celebrate latest innovations for furthering food security
   

Moscow, Russia, 6 June 2016 – Over 1,300 major actors and key influencers of the fertilizer sector gathered for the Annual Meeting of the International Fertilizer Industry Association this week, to discuss the sector’s progress in delivering proper plant nutrition to drive ongoing agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. On behalf of all Russian IFA Members, Andrey Guryev, new President of the Russian Association of Fertilizer Producers and CEO of OJSC PhosAgro expressed his delight and pride that the IFA Conference was taking place in Moscow.  



The conference examined the diverse and tailored responses to plant nutrition needed in various parts of the world. Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, who opened the meeting, referred to the ongoing need to improve access to fertilizers in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), given the tremendous, yet in some regions still largely untapped, potential of agriculture to meet food security needs and to promote economic growth.

While the CIS and other regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, experience major agricultural yield gaps, caused by insufficient use of fertilizers, the meeting also emphasized the need for ongoing improvements in nutrient use efficiency and more balanced plant nutrition in other regions, such as China or India, to minimize nutrient losses to the environment and promote soil health. “Fertilizers play a crucial role in sustainable agricultural intensification, designed to deliver the food for a global population that is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050. The industry is fully aware about the opportunities and responsibilities it faces to help advance global food security, forest and soil preservation, and the safeguarding of air and water quality,” said Charlotte Hebebrand, Director General of IFA. 

The sector is responding to this challenge with an ever increasing range of enhanced efficiency fertilizer products, as well as regionally adapted nutrient stewardship programs, based on the “4 Rs” (applying the right source of plant nutrients, at the right rate, time and place). The advancement of soil and crop-specific knowledge through the use of new analysis technologies, application decision support tools and innovative precision agricultural practices are one of the many areas the industry focuses on to promote global food security and sustainable agriculture, key elements of the Sustainable Development Goals. “Our industry will be playing a crucial role in implementing many of the SDGs,” highlighted IFA’s Chairman Dr. Abdulrahman Jawahery, while reaffirming the industry’s commitment to be fully engaged in international nutrient-related policy discussions and responsible nutrient management strategies. 

This year’s winner of IFA’s Norman Borlaug Award, Professor Tekalign Mamo, a former Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture, applauded the industry’s move to ever more site and crop specific plant nutrition. His award winning achievements illustrated how Ethiopia’s soil fertility mapping exercise (Ethiosis), the largest that has ever been carried out on the African continent, has led to the establishment of five blending plants that can deliver tailored fertilizer products to the country. Dr. Jawahery praised Professor Mamo’s achievement as an outstanding contribution to soil health, yield increase and agricultural development in Ethiopia (see separate press release). 

The industry’s commitment to nutrient management was also highlighted by Dr. David Nabarro, the UN’s Special Advisor on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Dr. Nabarro complimented the industry’s active involvement in shaping how the Sustainable Development Goals can be supported and measured over the next fifteen years in his address to the meeting. He also highlighted that the SDGs offer many business development opportunities for the fertilizer sector and concludes that: “Investing in sustainability is smart investment.” 

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Notes to editors


About the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) - The International Fertilizer Association (IFA) is a trade association representing the global fertilizer industry, which provides the crop nutrients that allow farmers everywhere to meet the world's growing food, feed, fiber and bioenergy needs in a sustainable manner. IFA member companies represent all activities related to the production and distribution of every type of fertilizer, their raw materials and intermediates. IFA’s membership also includes organizations involved in agronomic research and training. IFA has some 550 members in about 86 countries.

Contact


Mrs Yvonne Harz-Pitre, Director of Communications and Public Affairs
International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA)
Switchboard: +33 1 53 93 05 00