Fertilizer policies amid global supply and price shocks

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BY KIBROM ABAY, JORDAN CHAMBERLIN, PAULINE CHIVENGE, CHARLOTTE HEBEBRAND, AND DAVID J. SPIELMAN
OPEN ACCESS | CC-BY-4.0

Achieving efficient and effective fertilizer usage in agricultural production is a critically important economic and environmental policy objective for countries at all stages of economic development, although the nature of the policy problem may vary radically in different contexts.

While the imperatives of agricultural and rural economic productivity growth in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) require, among other things, greater use of inorganic fertilizers in order to narrow yield gaps, increased fertilizer application should be accompanied by efforts to minimize nutrient losses to the environment and maintain soil health. At the same time, LMICs with higher fertilizer application rates, such as China and India, are keen to move toward more precise and balanced plant nutrition, in order to improve fertilizer use efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint of fertilizers.

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