IFDC Report, Volume 3, No. 3

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This report provides an overview of the ore-beneficiation and bulk-blend/granulation pilot plants established by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). The completion and startup of these plants in September have enabled IFDC to evaluate and demonstrate various upgrading techniques for a wide range of ores. The research conducted in these plants facilitates the identification of beneficiation methods and the generation of economic data to support the utilization of indigenous ore deposits in developing countries. The bulk-blend/granulation pilot plant offers flexibility in producing fertilizers and demonstrating various equipment operations. It also serves as a training facility, ranging from manual to automatic control, and generates economic data to aid the construction of similar facilities in developing countries. The plant initially focuses on producing urea supergranules but can also accommodate bulk blending and granulation to have a wide range of NP, NPK, or other fertilizer grades. Emphasis is placed on using urea in large quantities due to its significance in Asia, Latin America, and certain African areas. In collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), IFDC is initiating a comprehensive study on rice production in Southeast Asian countries. IFPRI leads the overall policy, while IRRI evaluates rice varieties and associated cultural practices. IFDC's responsibility is to address fertilizer-related policy aspects to ensure its proper role and availability at reasonable prices without limiting factors. IFDC conducted a workshop funded by the Ford Foundation to investigate the potential efficiency improvement achieved by placing urea as supergranules, coated supergranules, or liquid injections into rice paddies. The workshop aimed to accelerate research and demonstration efforts in India, with partial funding from the Foundation's India office. Agronomic research results on nitrogen losses from rice fields and evaluations of modified urea products were reviewed, and plans for the extensive assessment in India were developed. The report also highlights IFDC's collaboration with PHOSY ALOR of Paris, France, on a research project focused on the recovery of phosphate from byproduct slimes produced during the beneficiation of phosphate rock. Initial work conducted by IFDC has led to a contract with PHOSY ALOR to continue research on better utilization of these slimes, which contain significant amounts of phosphate. Laboratory tests have shown promising results in recovering phosphate, potentially leading to the production of marketable phosphate fertilizer. USAID has requested IFDC to evaluate the potential of bulk imports and bulk blending in Bolivia to reduce fertilizer costs for Bolivian farmers. A marketing specialist and an engineer conducted studies to assist the Bolivian government in determining approaches that would best serve the country's fertilizer requirements in the next decade. The logistical challenges of land-locked countries, such as Bolivia, in importing fertilizers were considered. IFDC has also entered into agreements with India and Bangladesh to conduct studies on fertilizer adoption and demand constraints. These studies aim to understand the factors influencing farmers' adoption of fertilizers and identify policy adjustments that can encourage their widespread use, particularly among small and disadvantaged farmers. Additional topics covered in the report include a fertilizer marketing and distribution course, technical training for engineers from Brazil's Centro de Estudos de Fertilizantes (CEFER), assistance provided to Monomeros Colombo Venezolanos, SA (MONOMEROS) in expanding and modernizing their fertilizer production and marketing facilities, and technical assistance offered to Companhia Riograndense de Adubos (CRA) in implementing energy-saving technology.
Pilot Plants, Fertilizers