Phosphorus (P) is an essential resource for global food production. However, crop production, especially in acid soils, is hampered by poor P-use efficiency, creating a demand for P fertilizers. The increased demand for food to feed a growing human population, estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, has in turn increased demand for P fertilizers. There is significant concern about the depletion of phosphate rock (PR) resources, but also uncertainty about how long the existing deposits will last and whether further deposits can be found.
Two lead articles were produced for this dossier and can accessed below on this page.
P.O. Kisinyo et al., Chepkoilel University College, Kenya in their article, “Phosphorus depletion – should the ACP countries be concerned? What are the current issues for future research and policy?”, examine the extent of the problem and propose options for the ACP region.
A second article, by Bert Smit, plant Research Institute, Wageningen University and Research Centre, “Phosphorus depletion: an invisible crisis?” considers the evidence on the current status of depletion. Smit notes that the return flow of phosphorus from society to agriculture is decreasing and that the use and governance of the remaining reserves is far from sustainable.
This folder also contains links to documentary resources, which provide more insights on the following; assessing phosphorus levels, phosphorus depletion and application of phosphorus as well as information on the industry, geology and sustainability issues.
This folder was compiled and edited by CABI and CTA, May, 2011.