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