Deborah Hellums: Can Fertilizers Help Us Mitigate Climate Change?

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In this guest blog, Dr. Deborah Hellums, Chief Program Officer at the International Fertilizer Development Center outlines the ways that sustainable fertilizer use can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and play a role in SDG 13, combatting climate change.  Every person alive depends on agriculture for food, but agriculture accounts for 12 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. About half of these emissions come from arguably a most necessary component of agriculture: the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Mineral fertilizers, combined with organic fertilizers (along with other inputs and best management practices), currently keep about half of the global population alive. Without them, soils become devoid of nutrients, leading to low and declining yields and soil degradation, including loss of soil carbon. Read More

Julian Wolfson: The iDEal Way to Expand Drip Irrigation

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In this guest post, the Chief Executive of iDE Europe details how technical assistance through a social enterprise is ensuring that drip irrigation is successful. Without the right knowledge or necessary tools, poor farmers in Nicaragua have been unable to undertake a second growing season during the dry season. However, with micro-irrigation equipment and techniques, these farmers have the potential of doubling their annual production and incomes. Until 2010, their needs were ignored by the commercial sector, who failed to see these farmers as a large enough market for their products. This is the market gap that can be filled by a social enterprise, which exists not simply to make a profit, but to ensure that community and societal objectives can be met. In Nicaragua, that gap is being met by iDEal Tecnologías. Read More