Biotech Updates

Looming Phosphate Crisis can Imperil Food Production and Security

October 16, 2009

Farmers have constantly relied upon phosphate-based fertilizers to increase agricultural yield. However, there are concerns that the world may soon run out of such fertilizers due to quickly declining phosphate reserves. Some estimated that the reserves of clean phosphate rock will last for only about five decades more. Some are now exploring mining reserves offshore though these are known to be laden with impurities Others are also looking at the possible recovery and recycling of phosphates.

To make the supply last longer, ways to cut down on the use of phosphate-based fertilizers and improving their efficiency have been suggested. Other scenarios should also be explored to prevent the crisis from happening which may leave the world's future food supply hanging in the balance. About 70% of global supply of phospate is from China, Morocco, the United States and Russia.

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