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SEPTEMBER 2020 
 
Introduction

According to the recently published UN SOFI 2020 report, nearly 690 million people were undernourished in 2019, up by nearly 60 million in five years, with around 2 billion people in total suffering from food insecurity. The report calls for large transformations in food systems and countries’ agricultural policies and incentives to make nutritious food more accessible.

This concerning news is a reminder of the critical role of fertilizers for not only improving food security but also diet quality. In this issue we feature a range of leading experts who share the huge potential of micronutrient fertilizers to increase crop yields, resilience and uptake of other nutrients, as well as edible quantities of key essential nutrients missing from many diets today:

 
The Potential of Fertilizers to Further Reduce Hidden Hunger in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)

With an estimated 2 billion people living in the developing world today suffering from the effects of micronutrient malnutrition, Harvest Plus Director and 2016 World Food Prize Laureate, Dr. Howarth Bouis, and Sabanci University Professor and HarvestZinc project coordinator, Dr. Ismail Cakmak examine the problem of mineral and vitamin deficiencies in LMICs, how fertilizers currently improve nutrients delivered by food systems and the potential additional direct benefits of micronutrient fertilizers.

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Agronomic Biofortification Programs and Their Potential to Overcome Global Iodine Deficiencies

Dr. Katja Hora, Specialty Plant Nutrition Research Manager at SQM, tells us why iodine is so important for the human diet, the role of food that has been biofortified with fertilizers and how Italy is leading the way in commercializing the concept.

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Micronutrients’ Roles in Improving Crop Yields and the Effectiveness of Nanoscale Formulations

Dr. Upendra Singh, Deputy Director of Headquarters Research at the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) discusses the many benefits of micronutrients for improving both crop and human health and how nanoscale formulations can release nutrients slowly over time.

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Plant Micronutrient Uptake Challenges and the Benefits of Chelated Fertilizers

Adam Nawrocki, Director of ADOB, explains why plants can have difficulties accessing micronutrients and details some of the advantages of using chelated micronutrients in both soils and fertigation.

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Other News and Events

Crossroads: IFA's First-Ever Virtual Meeting is Open to All!

IFA is excited to bring you the first virtual edition of the Crossroads Asia-Pacific Conference in October, will be a fully immersive and interactive experience that is also open to non-members.

Join our live plenary sessions where you will be able to hear from experts, interact with them through live Q&As, and benefit from our multiple Virtual Networking Rooms to engage in focused discussions with participants from all over the world.

Session topics include site-specific nutrient management, ways to boost agricultural production in Asia, digital extension tools for smallholder farmers, the outlook for national markets in China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh and regional fertilizer supply, with speakers from the FAO, CAU, FAI, IRRI, Eurofins Agro, IHS Markit and RiseHarvest amongst others.

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