Fertilizer tariff hindering farmers’ ability to fill global demand for food: new report

(Debra Murphy/RealAgriculture)

On the heels of the federal government announcing fertilizer tariff funds would be sent to Ukraine to rebuild the power grid there, Grain Farmers of Ontario has released a report outlining the need for unfettered fertilizer access.

Entitled “Farmers Need Fertilizer,” the report was authored by Josh Linville, vice president fertilizer with StoneX. It outlines the complexity of global fertilizer supply, demand, and price, and shows how Canada’s tariffs on fertilizer have an impact for farmers in Ontario. It also explores the investments required to address the fertilizer supply in Canada in the longer-term.

Canadian farmers in the east are highly dependent on Russian-sourced urea nitrogen (source, StoneX)

“The results of the report echo what we have been saying. ‘Farmers Need Fertilizer’ shows that the best short-term solution for food security is for the Canadian government to remove the burden of tariffs on imported fertilizer,” says Brendan Byrne, chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “The report also explores the magnitude of the investment required to implement other solutions to address Canada’s fertilizer supply.”

Access to fertilizer as a food security issue was raised by the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at COP27. Guterres’ message to all parties was to remove barriers (to fertilizer) to “avert a global food crisis and ensure food security.”

The Farmers Need Fertilizer report cites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) position that commercial fertilizer is directly responsible for approximately 60 per cent of total world food production, and that without commercial fertilizers, global food security would become considerably harder to attain, especially with a growing population.

Read the full report here.

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