2008/09 IFDC Corporate Report

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The global food crisis of 2007-2008 exposed the vulnerability of our ability to feed the world's growing population. Various factors contributed to the crisis, including drought, rising energy and production costs, population growth, increased demand for biofuels, and higher meat consumption in China and India due to income growth. The impact of the crisis is severe, affecting both the urban poor in developing countries and the poorest rural dwellers who depend on buying food. This crisis highlights the challenges of food insecurity and poverty worldwide, emphasizing the need for immediate action to assist the poorest populations and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Agriculture has now become a priority for development, given its importance to economies and employment in most developing countries. Fertilizer plays a crucial role in improving agricultural productivity, but the current methods of production and use are unsustainable due to soaring prices and energy demands. It is necessary to develop more efficient ways of providing vital nutrients to crops and collaborate with institutions working on crops that use nutrients more efficiently, are profitable, and contribute to environmental sustainability. The need for increased agricultural productivity is particularly urgent in Sub-Saharan Africa, where farmers struggle to produce enough food for their families, face unreliable and unprofitable markets, and have limited access to fertilizers and improved seeds. On the other hand, intensive rice production systems in Asia suffer from excessive fertilizer use, leading to pollution and reduced profitability.To ensure food security and poverty reduction, two challenges must be addressed. First, agricultural intensification is necessary on existing farmland by adopting high-yielding crop varieties, increasing fertilizer and input use, improving farm management, and enhancing market access. Simultaneously, efforts must be made to conserve resources and minimize pollution from agriculture, requiring more efficient use of nutrients. IFDC (International Fertilizer Development Center) is a nonprofit organization established in 1974 to tackle global food security challenges. It has expanded its programs to include input and output market strengthening in addition to focusing on fertilizer issues. IFDC aims to target fertilizer production and use to help achieve MDG 1, which focuses on eradicating extreme hunger and poverty by 2015. The organization emphasizes collaboration with the private sector, local partners, and capacity building to ensure sustainable development. IFDC's strategic objectives include increasing nitrogen use efficiency, improving crop yields, increasing farm income, and making directly applied phosphate rock as effective as water-soluble fertilizers. The organization strives to improve input and output market efficiency in developing countries, enhance the efficiency of water and nutrient delivery to crops, and develop farm enterprises' skills in managing agricultural production and marketing. Special initiatives focus on productivity in Africa, nitrogen efficiency, and phosphate efficiency. IFDC recognizes the importance of managing for results and plans to continuously improve human resource development, research capacity, and communication technology. It aims to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance energy efficiency through organizational audits. Lessons learned from the 2008 fertilizer crisis and the earlier crisis in 1974 highlight the need for preparedness and sustainable solutions to mitigate the negative impacts of volatile fuel, food, and fertilizer prices. The 2008 crisis had devastating economic and social consequences, emphasizing the urgency of addressing these challenges to achieve global food security and poverty alleviation.
Value chains, Decision Support Systems