FAO and International Fertilizer Association join forces to promote sustainable fertilizer use

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14 December 2021, RomeThe Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), setting out a path to extend their existing cooperation on the promotion of sustainable food and agriculture, the importance of soil health and statistics on fertilizers.

The MoU was signed virtually by Beth Bechdol, FAO’s Deputy Director-General, and Svein Tore Holsether, IFA’s Board Chair. The partnership will see FAO and the IFA work together to raise awareness on the International Code of Conduct for the Sustainable Use and Management of Fertilizers (Fertilizer Code), as well as the improvement and dissemination of Fertilizer Statistics.

Beth Bechdol commented, “Innovation, technology and data are increasingly important to our overall strategic emphasis. As FAO and IFA continue to work together these are natural places where we can build on work that’s already been established, and we can also demonstrate impact and very concrete results.”

“The fertilizer industry is committed to the sustainable production and use of fertilizers. We are proud to support the FAO’s vision of transformative change and innovation with measurable, sustainable impact and benefits,” said Svein Tore Holsether.

Working for sustainable agriculture

The agreement promotes collaboration between FAO and IFA in the field of sustainable food and agriculture – including soil fertility assessment, sustainable use of fertilizers, and continuous improvement of FAO Statistics to support evidence-based decision making.  

The MoU lays out plans for FAO and IFA to cooperate on the follow-up to the Fertilizer Code, which was developed to increase food safety and the safe use of fertilizers. A global dissemination event and regional workshops will aim to highlight the implementation of the Fertilizer Code and its principles, focusing on regional needs and priorities; and to evaluate feasibility, practicality, and implementation of the Code’s provisions within specific regions.

FAO and IFA will continue to collaborate on the analysis and discussion of their historical fertilizer statistics, focusing primarily on the data publicly available in their respective databases, FAOSTAT and IFASTAT, with particular emphasis on fertilizer consumption. 

A strong partnership 

FAO and IFA share common objectives on the provision of global statistics on fertilizers as well as the promotion of sustainable soil and plant nutrient management through international research and outreach activities.

IFA is an international association for the global fertilizer industry and value chain, whose mission it is to promote efficient and responsible production, distribution and use of plant nutrients to ensure sustainable development and help achieve global food security.

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