The Strategist

Expert: Fertilizers shortages could cause famine in the world's poorest countries

11/29/2021 - 10:08

Food shortages and famine in the world's poorest countries might result from a worldwide fertilizer deficit, Svein Tore Holsether, executive director of Yara International, a Norwegian fertilizer firm, told the BBC.
According to him, the global fertilizer industry is now in deficit. Ammonia, which is used in many fertilizers, is made from gas, whose price has risen dramatically, raising the fertilizer's cost. Yara International, like other corporations, has previously been compelled to reduce output.

According to Holsether, reduced fertilizer output means farmers would be unable to produce crops as effectively as previously, resulting in agricultural shortages. Food shortages will disproportionately affect the poorest countries, he said.

Farmers utilize fertilizer to boost maize, rapeseed, and wheat harvests.

Many developed countries, including the United States and Canada, are facing fertilizer shortages. Their domestic market troubles are caused by severe shortages of potash and nitrogen fertilizers, which have prompted farmers to drastically curtail their purchases.

Since the beginning of 2021, worldwide fertilizer costs have increased by 80%, with the price of urea, a nitrogen fertilizer, surpassing $1,000 a ton for the first time in November.


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