International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA)

IFA to Highlight the Essential Role of Fertilizers for Sustainable Agricultural Systems at COP25


Paris, France -- As the world examines how agriculture is impacted by and also in turn impacts climate change, IFA will be leading an industry delegation to Madrid to underscore the vital role of fertilizers in producing around 50% of the world's food supply, and meeting the challenge of a 60% increase in productivity to feed a population of 9.8 billion people by 2050 on existing arable land, as well as the need for efficient and effective fertilizer application to minimize losses to the environment.

With a special focus on nutrient management at this year’s event, the International Fertilizer Industry (IFA) is pleased to participate in the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 taking place from December the 2nd to the 13th this year in Madrid.

Amid a Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) workshop on “Improved manure management and nutrient use towards sustainable and resilient agricultural systems”, IFA is bringing an industry delegation, with representatives from Yara, BASF, the Fertilizer Institute and Fertilizer Canada, to reiterate fertilizer’s key role in ensuring food security, improving plant resilience, adapting to water-scarce environments, preventing deforestation and increasing soil carbon sequestration.

With around one billion hectares of land preserved from conversion to cropping between 1961 and 2005 because of advances in crop productivity, leading to carbon emission savings of 317 to 590 Gt CO2-eq from not converting that area, plant nutrition is vital for sustainably increasing crop production on existing farmland.

In sub-Saharan Africa (the region with the lowest fertilizer consumption in the world), a 20% increase of fertilizer use could result in more than 2 million hectares of land spared, and up to 13 million tons of carbon sequestered compared to 0.4 million tons emitted.

Nutrient management is also a key component for improving soil health, the largest terrestrial pool of carbon that can store up to 50-300 tonnes of carbon per hectare, equivalent to 180-1100 tonnes of CO2, which represents 89% of agriculture's future mitigation potential according to the IPCC.

To further highlight the crucial position of 4R-based plant nutrition management – applying the right source of nutrients, at the right rate, in the right place in the field, and at the right time – for helping farmers adapt to climate change and reduce GHG emissions, IFA has also co-organized two special side events this year:

Earth, Wind, Fire & Water: Elements for Sustainability Joining forces for transformative change in agriculture, held on December 3 from 11.30 to 13.00 in Room 1 in conjunction with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the World Farmers’ Organization (WFO) and the Earth Security Group, will look at solutions being implemented to advance climate-smart practices around the world. The event, which features Markus Schmid, Head of Business Management at BASF, will explore ways to increase nutrient use efficiency globally through fertilizer Best Management Practices and innovative plant nutrition products.

Transforming Food Systems with a Farmers Driven Climate Agenda, held on December 4 from 11.30 to 13.00 in Room 5 and organized alongside the WFO, will bring together farmers, researchers and members of the Climakers Alliance to present findings of the campaign a year after it launch, including a look at the business perspective for best management practices on the farm from Bernhard Stormyr, Yara’s Head of Sustainability Management.

In addition to these two events, Lara Moody, Vice President of Stewardship and Sustainability Programs at The Fertilizer Institute will be speaking about the importance of fertilizers for climate action in agriculture at a side event on agroecology organized by CGIAR and the FAO on December 4 from 18:30 to 20:00, in the Helsinki Room in the EU Pavilion.

IFA’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Yvonne Harz-Pitre, will also be speaking at the KJWA workshop where she will represent the significance of supporting crop– and site–specific Fertilizer Best Management Practices, such as the 4Rs, for achieving productive, sustainable and resilient agricultural systems, as well as Integrated Plant Nutrient Management, starting with on-farm organic sources of nutrients and supplementing them with manufactured fertilizers, to increase soil health, crop yields and soil carbon sequestration.

IFA warmly invites all attendees to take part in these two side events and connect with the fertilizer delegation during this important plant nutrition-focussed edition of the COP.

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