Industry as a partner for sustainable development: fertilizer
The fertilizer industry remains concerned about the effects of its products even after they leave the factory gate and it began promoting efficient and balanced use long before most industries were adopting life cycle product responsibility. In theory, as many as two billion farmers could use fertilizers on any given day. Ensuring that they have the best agronomic information, quality fertilizers and appropriate and efficient technology is a daunting task. However, under-use, over-use or unbalanced use all unleash negative impacts that must be eliminated to achieve truly sustainable production of quality food. Technology has a role to play, but capacity building is probably the most important factor. Managing these key agricultural inputs on a global scale requires mobilisation of industry, international organisations, governments, scientists, educators and trainers, farmers, agricultural workers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local communities, all working together. Although the research to prepare this report revealed much progress, a number of challenges remain. This report is the first attempt of its kind to look at the contribution of the fertilizer industry to sustainable development, and to consider the challenges that face the industry as regards sustainability. Material from across the globe was reviewed, and we are grateful to the numerous organisations that provided information.