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Fertilizer Industry Launches Online Campaign Ahead of G8 Summit

16 May 2012

GLOBAL - The global fertilizer industry has launched a new online campaign called “Roots for Growth”, highlighting the important role which fertilizers play in addressing global food security responsibly, efficiently and sustainably.

As 'Group of Eight' (G8) leaders prepare to meet in Camp David on May 18 and 19, the topics of agriculture and nutrition security are expected to feature high on their agenda. Back in 2009, G8 leaders pledged to spend US $22 billion on agriculture and rural development at the L’Aquila G8 summit. With funding due to expire this year, there is an urgent need for leaders to agree a new and improved commitment.

Ford West, President of The Fertilizer Institute says, "This campaign aims to raise awareness and dialogue around fertilizer’s role in supporting global food security and sustainable agricultural production." Jacob Hansen, Director General of Fertilizers Europe says, "Fertilizers are essential in boosting crop productivity and maintaining soil fertility whilst also improving rural livelihoods, protecting natural habitats and making agriculture more carbon-efficient."

Roger Larson, President of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute said: "G8 leaders are right to prioritise food and nutrition security, but they must focus more energy on enabling farmers in every corner of the world to share in the benefits of modern, intensive agriculture. Farmers must be at the centre of these discussions if we are to meet the world’s most pressing sustainable development challenges."

In sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farmers face a variety of constraints in their ability to increase productivity. These include increasingly degraded soils (75 per cent of which is already classified as such), low crop productivity (yields are less than 10 per cent of global averages) and lack of access to input and output markets. According to the World Bank, sub-Saharan Africa represents 10 per cent of the world’s population but only uses 0.8 per cent of the world’s fertilizer.

David Roquetti Filho, Executive Director of ANDA said: "Many poor farmers are left with little choice to prevent further soil nutrient depletion, as they lack sufficient access to inputs such as fertilizers. To combat this we need continued commitments to improve farmers’ ability to support their own livelihoods, as well as feed a growing population."

As the "Roots for Growth” campaign highlights, food grown with fertilizers is already nourishing billions of people and helping to improve their diets every year, but there is still more work to do. Luc Maene, Director General of the International Fertilizer Industry Association said: “Moving forwards, the fertilizer industry wants to partner even more with farmers, environmental leaders, agronomists, scientists, and governments to share knowledge, develop further innovations and improve farmers’ access to markets, both locally and globally."

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