The global fertilizer industry has a new online campaign it's calling "Roots for Growth" that will highlight the role fertilizers play in meeting global food needs and addressing food security. As Group of Eight leaders gather in Camp David later this week, agriculture and nutrition are thought to be an important part of the agenda, according to a press statement from the groups promoting the Roots for Growth program.
In 2009, G8 leaders pledged to spend $22 billion on ag and rural development, with funding to expire this year. That drives a need for world leaders to agree on a new and improved commitment.
The Web campaign includes several online materials aimed at informing policy debates and encouraging dialogue. The tools include:
- Introductory "Roots for Growth" video
- Interactive infographics on food/nutrition safety, soil health, environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture.
- Links to key industry news, external policy papers, multimedia and key industry spokespeople.
You can check out the materials at www.rootsforgrowth.org. 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."
Adds Jacob Hansen, director general of Fertilizers Europe: "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."
For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farmers face a variety of constraints in their ability to increase productivity. These include increasingly degraded soils (75% of which is already classified as such), low crop productivity (yields are less than 10% of global averages) and lack of access to input and output markets. According to the World Bank, sub-Saharan Africa represents 10% of the world's population but only uses 0.8% of the world's fertilizer. David Roquetti Filho, Executive Director of ANDA says, "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."
A global initiative, "Roots for Growth" is led by a coalition of the world's leading fertilizer associations, namely the Brazilian industry association called Associação Nacional para Difusão de Adubos, or ANDA; Canadian Fertilizer Institute, Fertilizers Europe, International Fertilizer Industry Association, and The Fertilizer Institute.