Yara International CEO: Fertilizer Scarcity Could Cause Hunger in the World's Poorest Countries world, Svein Tore Holseter, executive director of the Norwegian fertilizer company Yara International, predicted in an interview with the BBC.
According to the head of the company, at the moment there is a shortage in the global fertilizer market. For the production of ammonia, which is present in many fertilizers, gas is used, the prices of which have risen sharply, increasing the cost of the fertilizers themselves. Along with other companies, Yara International was previously forced to reduce the production of its products. Holseter clarified that the decrease in fertilizer production means that farmers will not be able to grow crops as efficiently as before, leading to a deficit. He pointed out that the poorest countries will be hit hardest by food shortages.
Farmers use fertilizers to increase the yield of corn, rapeseed and wheat. “This is really scary, we are facing a food crisis. This affects food prices around the world and hits the wallets of many. But for some people, especially in developing countries, it is not only a matter of money, but a matter of life and death, ”said Holseter. In this regard, the head of Yara International called for support and funding of the humanitarian organization World Food Program (WFP) in order to avoid mass hunger.
Many rich countries, such as the United States and Canada, also experience a lack of fertilizers. The problems in their domestic markets are associated with a serious shortage of potash and nitrogen fertilizers, which forced farmers to significantly reduce their purchases. Since the beginning of 2021, world fertilizer prices have risen by 80 percent, and the cost of nitrogen fertilization of urea in November for the first time exceeded $ 1,000 per ton. At the same time, experts noted that Russian producers can take advantage of the unfavorable situation in the North American grain market. Next year, they will have the opportunity to export to new regions traditionally occupied by competitors from the United States, for example, Southeast Asia.