How to manage the world’s fertilizers to avoid a prolonged food crisis

Hidden behind the worst global food crisis in a decade, fertilizer prices have skyrocketedag_blog_july_22_1140x500_1117767635_9d624e5836_o and remain volatile . This poses a serious threat to food security, as the planting season starts this summer. So far, the war in Ukraine has mostly affected countries importing wheat and corn. But many countries, including some major food exporters, are net fertilizer importers. Persistently high fertilizer prices may spread to a broader variety of crops including rice, a staple which has not yet seen war-related price hikes. We must act now to make fertilizers more accessible and affordable to avoid prolonging the food crisis.   

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For poor countries already facing debt distress, a food crisis looms

The war in Ukraine could soon deliver a tragic blow to many of the world’s poorest countries: shutterstock_2138413595_food_crisis_1140x500many of the countries at greatest risk of a debt crisis are now grappling with the threat of a food crisis as well.  

Food-import bills are surging fastest for poor countries that are already in debt distress or at high risk of it , the World Bank’s latest data show. Over the next year, the tab for imports of wheat, rice, and maize in these countries is expected to rise by the equivalent of more than 1 percent of GDP. That is more than twice the size of the 2021-2022 increase—and, given the relatively small size of these economies, it’s also twice as large as the expected increase for middle-income economies.

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