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  MAY 2019 
A Message from IFA Director General Charlotte Hebebrand

Last month saw the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) in Nairobi, which discussed ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production’.

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Around the World

New Global Tool Helps Address Environmental Concerns of Nutrient Pollution

To feed the growing global population and help lift over 500 million smallholder farmers in developing countries out of poverty, fertilizer use is expected to increase considerably in the coming decades. At the same time nutrient pollution must be reduced. The Global Nutrient Management Toolbox is the first global platform to showcase effective nutrient management practices, policies and technologies that can reduce environmental degradation.

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Map: Micronutrient Biofortification Priorities

HarvestPlus has just launched the Biofortification Priority Index (BPI) to show which country-crop combinations will have the greatest impact in reducing micronutrient deficiencies. It ranks 128 countries in each of the eight biofortified staple food crops.

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Environment & Sustainability

Grain Drain: Rising CO2 Levels May Require Additional Fertilizers

Recent research suggests that fertilizers might soon have an even more important role to play for supporting human health. Higher concentrations of atmospheric C02 have been found to reduce the nutrient content of staple crops and may make an additional 175 million people zinc deficient and 122 million people protein deficient by 2050, according to a recent study.

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Video: Harvard Scientist Samuel Myers on Plant Nutrients Changes from Elevated CO2

Harvard Principal Research Scientist and Planetary Health Alliance Director, Samuel Myers discusses global nutrient deficiency and his research on the nutrient content of plants grown in elevated C02 conditions.

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Innovation

Innovative Rice Growing Technique Saves Resources & Reduces Emissions

Currently 90% of the world’s rice is produced in Asia, mainly using the Puddled Transplanted Rice (PTR) method in a puddled and flooded field. In recent years Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) has emerged as an economically viable alternative that saves scarce labour, water, and energy resources, reduces GHG emissions and drudgery, increases yields of rotational non-rice crops, and presents new opportunities for nutrient management.

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Video: Indoor Farm Run Entirely by Robots

Startup Iron Ox has just opened a fully autonomous farm in California with a claimed yield per acre 30 times greater than traditional farms and 90% less water use.

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Impact Makers

Scientist Xin Zhang on the Nitrogen Cycle, Climate Change & Nitrogen Use Efficiency

Global nutrient cycle and sustainable agriculture scientist and Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Xin Zhang discusses the vital role of the nitrogen cycle for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, how climate change affects nitrous oxide emissions, how regional and national policies can help make fertilizer use more efficient and her upcoming research projects.

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Video: Women in the Fertilizer Industry

For International Women’s Day 2019, IFA celebrated the women working in a wide range of roles in the fertilizer industry and highlighted the many career opportunities in the sector. We caught up with a few of our female members to find out more about their roles.

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Other News & Events