Fourth NSP Webinar on “Sound Fertilization for Food Security in the Context of the Current Crisis”

The Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is pleased to invite you to the fourth NSP seminar: “Sound Fertilization for Food Security,” which will be held virtually via Zoom on 6 July 2022, from 14:00 to 16:00 CEST.

Click here to register for the webinar!

The objectives of the NSP seminar series are:

  1. raising awareness of the contribution of plant production and protection to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at global, regional and national levels;
  2. sharing information and knowledge on the strategic direction and technical development in sustainable plant production and protection; 
  3. and promoting cross-cutting dialogue and collaboration in plant production and protection worldwide.

This webinar also serves as a preparatory session for the Global Conference on Sustainable Plant Production (GPC) with the theme “Innovation, Efficiency and Resilience,” planned for 2 - 4 November 2022. The webinar will provide FAO Members, stakeholders and policymakers with information to mitigate the effects of increasing fertilizer input prices while responding to market demands and, more importantly, producing more food with less environmental footprint.

Fertilizers are used in agricultural production to improve plant nutrition in macro- and micro-nutrients, as well as increase plant health and productivity. They have been reported to be responsible for 30-50% of the yield increases in major crops. Crop production estimates that average corn and wheat yields would decline by 40% without regular N and P addition. Since the beginning of 2022, fertilizers prices recorded further 30% increase following last year’s surge. Several factors together resulted in price soaring including surging input costs, energy price increase, supply disruptions caused by sanctions (Belarus and Russia), and export restrictions. FAO published information about international fertilizer prices through publishing the global fertilizer market: taking stock of a tightening market situation.

Several approaches could be implemented to mitigate the adverse impact of the fertilizer crisis including enhancing fertilizer use efficiency, using alternatives to mineral fertilizers and enhancing production practices. 

In the context of utilization of alternatives to chemical fertilizers, biofertilizer is recommended as an economically feasible, and eco-friendly solution to enhance plant growth and yield and reduce chemical fertilizers application. These biologically active formulations implemented to enhance soil quality and crop productivity through fixing atmospheric nitrogen, organic matter decomposition, increasing the availability of translocated nutrients as well as other plant growth-promoting substances. Biofertilizers are likely to be more promising and among the potential solution to fertilizers crisis in the long run with increasing awareness about its role among farmers, producers, policy makers, etc. In addition to improving fertilizer use efficiency and biofertilizers implementation, further alternatives to mineral fertilizers contribute to facilitate reaching to plant nutrient source. In various countries, organic materials, such as animal manures, crop residues, green manures, and composts are traditionally utilized to maintain or improve the health, productivity and fertility of agricultural soils. Applying organic based fertilizers with improving quality and better application technology assist farmer to overcome the shortage and low affordability of mineral fertilizers. 

In this regard, the International Code of Conduct for the Sustainable Use and Management of Fertilizers was developed by FAO to enhance food safety and the safe use of fertilizers. Thus, multiple nutrient types and sources are considered within this Fertilizer Code and includes: chemical and mineral fertilizers; biofertilizers; organic fertilizers such as livestock manures and composts; and sources of recycled nutrients such as wastewater, sewage sludge, digestates and other processed wastes. The Code of Conduct provides a locally adaptable framework and a voluntary set of practices to serve the different stakeholders directly or indirectly involved with fertilizers.

A virtual webinar will take place consisting of four speakers (from private sector and academia). The speakers will focus on the fertilizer global market overview, fertilizer-use efficiency and alternatives to mineral fertilizers. A reaction from farmers in the “Farmers’ Perspectives” session will follow the presentations. The NSP Director will provide his perspective closing remarks for the event.  A 25-minute Question & Answer session will be included to receive participants’ feedback and allow speakers to respond to questions. the detailed agenda can be found below.

Target audiences comprise policy-makers, representatives from countries and regions, farmer organizations, the scientific community, national research and extension services, development organizations, the private sector, etc.


Agenda item and presenters 

14:00 - 14:05

Welcome remarks

by Jingyuan Xia, Director of FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division

14:05 - 14:15

Opening remarks

by Beth Bechdol,  FAO Deputy Director-General   

14:15 14:30 

Overview and industry response to the global fertilizer crisis

by Mr Patrick Heffer Deputy Director General, International Fertilizer Association (IFA)

14:30 - 14:45

Increased Fertilization Efficiency for Food Security

by Professor Zhang Fusuo, Chief Scientist of Plant Nutrition, China Agricultural University, China

14:45 - 15:00

Biofertilizers for supporting food security

by Professor Manish Raizada, Professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Canada

15:00 - 15:15

Alternative approaches to chemical fertilizers - enhancing food security  

by Professor Laurie Drinkwater, Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section, Cornell University, USA

15:15 - 15:20


15:20 - 15:25

Farmers’ Perspectives  

Janet Maro, CEO Programme, Farmers’ Association Sustainable Agriculture, Tanzania

Gabriela Soto, Representative of “IFOAM – Organics International”

15:25 - 15:50

Question and Answer Session

15:50 - 16:00

Concluding remarks by Jingyuan Xia



  • Enhanced dialogue and stakeholder involvement in the efficient use of fertilizers and fertilizers alternatives to reduce the adverse impact of fertilizers price soaring
  • Increased awareness of the importance of sustainable use of fertilizers and mineral fertilizer alternatives including reducing the demand on mineral fertilizers
  • Publication developed including recommendations to overcome high prices and shortage in mineral fertilizers.

  • Wide dissemination of webinar recording through FAO Decentralized Offices and communication platforms.
  • Outreach and advocacy activities to endorse the important role of efficient use of fertilizers and mineral fertilizers alternatives for food security and environmental protection.