» Fertilizer

“Two out of every five people on earth today owe their lives to the higher crop outputs that fertilizer has made possible.”

BILL GATES, CO-CHAIRMAN,
BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION

WHY FERTILIZER?
Humans consume crop and animal products for nourishment, while crops get most of their nutrient requirements from the soil. Many soils do not provide all the nutrients in quantities needed by crops, while soil nutrients removed from fertile soil by continuous cropping must be replaced through the addition of nutrient sources, such as fertilizers.

Fertilizers provide plants with the nutrients required for growth. The addition of fertilizers to plants increases their development, yield and quality which means more crops can be produced on the limited farmland available, often in a shorter time period.

Without fertilizer increasing the productivity of soil the world would need at least 50% more farmland – the equivalent of converting almost a quarter of global forest reserves into cultivated land.

"Over the next 50 years farmers will have to produce as much food as they produced in the last 10,000 years."

INTERNATIONAL FERTILIZER INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

WHAT IS FERTILIZER?
Any natural or manufactured material that contains at least 5% of one or more of the three primary nutrients - nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), or potassium (K) - can be considered a fertilizer.

Fertilizer production entails gathering raw materials from nature; such as phosphate, treating them in order to increase their concentration, converting them into plant available forms, and often combining them into products that contain more than one nutrient.

FERTILIZER'S PRIMARY COMPONENTS
Humans, animals and plants all need nutrients to survive

Phosphorous supports the formation of oils, sugars and starches in plants. It also promotes the overall development of plants, their blooming, as well as their root growth which helps plants withstand stress.

Nitrogen helps plants grow quickly, while increasing the production of seed and fruit, and improving the quality of leaf and forage crops.

Potassium assists in photosynthesis, fruit quality, the building of protein and the reduction of disease.

WHY PHOSPHATE?
"Without plentiful phosphate supplies, the wheels will come off modern agriculture."

INSIDE MINING, MAY 2015

Phosphate is a naturally occurring mineral containing the element phosphorus, found in all known forms of life. There are no known substitutes for phosphorus. Phosphate was declared a strategic mineral in 1984 based on its’ significant role in food production to ensure the future existence of humanity. It is an essential component for the survival and growth of every living organism, which is why the agricultural industry relies on fertilizers that contain phosphate.

SOURCE OF FUTURE FOOD SUPPLY

77%

INCREASED
CROP YIELDS

14%

INCREASED
CROPPING
INTENSITY

9%

EXPANSION OF
CULTIVATED LAND