Stories tagged: fertilizer

#IamAg! Meet Xin, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland

This is the third post in our new series “I am Agriculture”, that showcases the many careers available to young people in agriculture. Today’s post comes from Xin Zhang, who studies the environmental impacts of agricultural production.

As a faculty member at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, I have been developing a non-traditional path in the field of agriculture. I do not cultivate crops or raise animals on a farm. Instead, I study the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of agricultural production and identify strategies to make agricultural production more efficient, sustainable, and resilient. I am not the greatest caretaker of plants; however, I have harnessed my skills in navigating through massive datasets and designing measurements or models to solve issues concerned with agricultural production, on both the farm and national scales. Nevertheless, as part of the solutions to the challenge of farming the planet more sustainably, I consider myself pursuing a career in agriculture, and I would like to encourage more young talents to join the force.

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New infographic: Managing Water and Fertilizer for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification

To celebrate World Water Week, the International Fertilizer Industry Association and partners have produced an infographic that visualises the necessary steps for the optimization of water and fertilizer use.

Both water and fertilizers play a critcal role in agricultural production – in fact, each depends on the other. Fertilizer’s influence on yield depends on the water available to crops, and water’s impact on yield depends on nutrients’ availability to crops. Continue reading

Video: Building Resilience Through Better Use of Fertilizers

Farming First met Margaret Catley-Carlson of the International Fertilizer Development Center to hear her view on how better use of fertilizers can build the resilience of communities and our planet.

“Everyone in the world should be interested in better use of fertilizer” she commented. “This can mean cutting down where too much is being used, or in poorer countries, it can mean ramping up fertilizer use”. Continue reading

Richard Mkandawire: Closing Africa’s Yield Gap

In this guest post, Richard Mkandawire, Vice President of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) calls on African leaders to fulfil the 2006 Abuja Declaration that pledged to raise fertilizer use in Africa to 50 kg/ha by 2015. AFAP works with private businesses to establish more competitive and sustainable fertilizer markets in Africa and to contribute to an African Green Revolution. Continue reading

Video: Nutrition for People, Nutrition for Plants with Esin Mete, IFA

“Fertilizers can contribute a lot to human health”, Esin Mete, President of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), tells Farming First. Drawing attention the role of correct fertilizer use in improving nutrition is one of Mete’s priorities as IFA president.

Naturally, it all starts with the plants, as Mete explains: “When we are planting the seeds we have to make sure all the nutrients and micronutrients are available to the plant. So what we are doing, in fact, by fertilization is feeding the plant instead of the humans.” Continue reading

Video: From Subsistence to Success for African Smallholder Farmers with Terje Tollefsen, Yara

Ahead of the International Fertilizer Industry Association’s Annual Conference in Sydney next week, Farming First talks business with Terje Tollefsen, Head of Strategy and Business Development at Yara International ASA.

Tollefsen highlights the efforts made by Yara in unlocking value chains in Africa. He points to the company’s work with Masara N’Arziki, which aims to increase maize production in northern Ghana.

We “put together in excess of 10,000 farmers. They all work together in terms of securing the inputs that we assist in supplying. And there is a clear off-take mechanism, so they can sell their grains at the end of the harvest,” Tollefsen says, adding that the project has led to a tripling of yields.

Tollefsen stresses that the success of Masara N’Arziki shows that it makes business sense to help smallholder farmers thrive: “For us there is no inherent trade-off between rural development while [creating] value for the farmers and then at the same time deliver value for our shareholders.”

Watch our video for the full interview with Terje Tollefsen.