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Expert opinion
15.10.2019

Andrey Guryev: "PhosAgro Supports African Farmers in Pursuit of Effective Soil Management"

PhosAgro, one of the world’s leading phosphorus- containing fertilizer producers, has been working with farmers in Africa since its founding. The Company supplies around 300 ths tonnes of high-quality phosphorous, complex and nitrogen fertilizers to the African continent, which is the fastest growing market in the world, and intends to expand its presence there.

Each African country has its own specialisation in agriculture: while some countries focus on ensuring their own food security and use standard crop farming technologies, others produce high-margin export crops, such as coffee and cocoa beans, which require tailored nutrient application systems that enable farmers to maximise higher profits per hectare.

PhosAgro, whose portfolio features 39 fertilizer grades, has been studying regional and local characteristics in order to offer optimal and effective solutions that will significantly contribute to ensuring food security in the region as well as boosting local agriculture with the help of mineral fertilizers.

According to the FAO, soil pollution, including through heavy metals, such as cadmium, nickel and arsenic, is currently affecting food security throughout the world by limiting crop yields and decreasing product quality. Today, more than half of the world’s soils are subject to degradation, and the share continues to grow. PhosAgro, whose fertilizers do not contain toxic impurities, making them safe for human and soil health, cannot stand idly by.



In 2018, PhosAgro became the first Russian company selected by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization to implement a global soil protection initiative. The key objective of this project is the creation of national soil laboratories in developing countries with a focus on assessing the quality and safety of fertilizers and monitoring soil health.

This initiative is especially important for a developing region like Africa, where famine-related issues are especially important and agriculture efficiency needs to be boosted without threatening the ecosystem or degrading soil resources. Moreover, food security is closely connected with ensuring public health, which is another must for the sustainable development of the continent.

In this regard, PhosAgro, along with other partners, launched the African Soil Laboratory Network (AFRILAB), which will help farmers make more efficient decisions for sustainable land management and growing ecologically clean products.

In 2019, PhosAgro acted as the general partner of the Summer School on Green Chemistry, which was organised by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and held for the first time in its history in Africa, in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). This year, the event brought together a record number of delegates — more than 100 young professionals and 30 world-class teachers from 43 countries. The 2019 Summer School was widely attended by young scientists from developing countries and countries with emerging economies. 35 of the 50 young professionals who have been awarded with a scholarship by PhosAgro are representatives of the African continent.

PhosAgro has been collaborating with UNESCO and IUPAC for many years to implement the Green Chemistry for Life grant programme. Green Chemistry was the first project in the history of UNESCO and the UN to be financed by a Russian company. During the five years in which the programme has been running, more than 600 applications have been considered, and 34 young scientists from 26 countries have been awarded grants. Eight of them are talented scientists from Africa who conduct research in the field of waste-to-energy principles and the enhancement of modern technologies that contribute to reducing environmental impact.

PhosAgro intends to further expand its contribution to the food security of African countries, providing local farmerswithenvironmentallyfriendlyhighquality fertilizers and supporting important international initiatives aimed at sustainable development of the African continent.
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