IFDC Report, Volume 33, No. 1

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The report discusses the significant rise in world fertilizer prices and its correlation with the merging of food and fuel economies. The surge in prices can be attributed to various factors, including the increased demand for food crops, especially corn for ethanol and other biofuels, higher energy and freight costs, growing demand for grain-fed meat in emerging economies, and the rising use of natural gas for liquefied natural gas (LNG) production. The implications of this price surge on developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, are highlighted, emphasizing the urgent need to address the fertilizer crisis faced by resource-poor farmers. The report also examines the impact of fertilizer raw material sources on prices and the competition for natural gas resources. Furthermore, it delves into the intersection of the food and energy economies, focusing on the use of corn for ethanol production and its effects on food security and the environment. The need to enhance fertilizer use efficiency through research and innovative techniques is emphasized, along with examples of successful approaches such as deep placement of urea and integrated soil fertility management. The report highlights the importance of converting energy into food security through fertilizer use and the need for continued efforts to improve agricultural productivity while mitigating the challenges of rising fertilizer prices.
Food security, Fertilizers, Developing countries