IFDC Report, Volume 17, No. 2

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This report summarizes the findings and outcomes of an international workshop organized by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The workshop, held in Tampa, Florida, in March 1992, aimed to address the growing environmental challenges faced by the global phosphate fertilizer industry. Delegates and experts from 19 countries participated in the workshop, focusing on environmentally driven technical, economic, regulatory, and political issues affecting the industry. The deliberations at the workshop covered various critical topics, including the required technologies and products for optimal agricultural productivity, the environmental concerns associated with phosphate fertilizer production, the management and technology strategies to address emerging environmental issues, the costs of complying with existing or proposed regulatory scenarios, and the alternatives available for building a more environmentally sustainable phosphate fertilizer industry. Additionally, the workshop aimed to assess how these environmental issues impact farmers' ability to produce an abundant supply of affordable food and fiber in developed and developing economies. Despite differing opinions, the workshop concluded with a consensus on several key points. Firstly, the industry has made progress in responding to environmental pressures, but more work remains. Secondly, there is a need for further research to ensure that environmental regulations are based on sound scientific foundations. Lastly, environmental regulations' economic implications are global, necessitating comprehensive research and a focused approach to address the potential global economic impact. This report provides valuable insights into the environmental challenges the phosphate fertilizer industry faces. It highlights the need for sustainable industrial development and responsible environmental stewardship to ensure agricultural productivity while safeguarding the environment. The findings are a basis for future initiatives and actions to create a more environmentally benign phosphate fertilizer industry.
Phosphate fertilizers, Agricultural productivity, Environmental conditions, Technology