Every year, the world’s population increases by 80 million people – this is approximately the population of the Federal German Republic. So by mid-century, experts estimate that more than 9 billion humans will populate our planet Earth. This growth raises many questions. The most important question is: Does this Earth have the resources for feeding this number of people? After all, important resources such as space and water are limited.
In order to feed the future population of the world – and in awareness of the fact that already today 1 billion people suffer from starvation – we need to raise yield and productivity, as well as investing in research. These were the very clear demands, publicly expressed in September by the UN-Agricultural Organisation FAO, in time for this year’s World Food Day, on 16 October 2009. According to recent estimates, agricultural production needs to be raised by 70% until 2050, in order to feed 2.3 billion additional inhabitants.
The DSW (German Foundation for World Population) – World Population Clock (Source: http://www.weltbevoelkerung.de)
According to the FAO, and in view of the expected effects of climatic change, a more efficient use of the existing agricultural areas and raised productivity need to be given primary importance. The expansion of agricultural areas may only provide for 10% of the necessary increase in productivity. Much more important factors are raising efficiency of fertilisers and of water use, a reduction of post-harvest losses, as well as the development of resistant cultivars.
Increased Meat Consumption
Not only a growing population, but also changing dietary habits will influence the need for agricultural products. The more meat products are consumed, the more grain, i.e. maize is required as feeding stuff for animal production, placing additional demands on the limited supply of agricultural areas.
And finally, a limited supply of fossil fuels necessitates the development of alternative energy generation. Here agriculture may play an increasingly important role, by providing biomass as a source material for energy production.
Study: Food Production Needs to be Doubled
A study conducted by the Deutsche Bank generated comparable results: it calls for doubling world-food-production by 2050, in order to ward off starvation. If political and social measures are taken, and distribution is changed, sufficient supply is possible – this is the conclusion of the study, published in September 2009. Particularly agriculture in developing nations needs to be strengthened, by their own local governments, as well as by donor countries. Intelligent solutions for nutrient and water management, as well as sustainable handling of plant protection, fertilisation and land consumption seem to crystallise as the primary issues for the future.
K+S KALI GmbH: A World-wide Team of Consultants for Practice // Practical Application
For many years, K+S KALI GmbH has focused on sustainable fertilisation, worldwide. The competent and highly motivated team of consultants within K+S KALI GmbH consists of regional experts and internationally active agronomists. Our consultants provide important information and innovation concerning such important nutrients as potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphate, as well as trace elements, all of which were developed and tested in a worldwide network of field trials, together with cooperation partners from science and research.
Optimal fertiliser application is just as important for the environment as it is for the economic success of agricultural production. Highly specific information is fast becoming more and more fundamental, as it includes targeted, site-specific evaluation of nutrient requirement, nutrient form and optimal fertilisation date, as well as up-to-date knowledge on fertiliser types and fertilisation systems. Our research department provides answers to many urgent questions.
Sometimes less is more
Efficient use of fertilisers, i.e. custom-tailored application to achieve optimal yields, will be of prime importance to future farmers. It is not only important to provide a sufficient supply of the required nutrients, at the right moment. The balance of all nutrients in relation to each other also needs to be taken into consideration. One missing nutrient may inhibit the plant’s use of all other nutrients available. The agronomic experts from K+S KALI GmbH sensitise farmers all over the world to these issues.
Active Research for Sustainable, Efficient Agriculture
Our objective is to answer all questions concerning fertilisation, faced by agricultural research today, and in future. We are committed to this as an important contribution for securing food and nutrition for a growing world population, for producing premium-quality crops and for generating renewable resources. We see it as our task to provide our agricultural expertise and competence on the optimal application of our mineral fertilisers, in order to develop fertilisation consultation in harmony with the needs of both humans and the environment. As K+S KALI GmbH, we can rely on many years of field trials and international projects, which will continue to play an important role in maintaining our agricultural competence.
We use our knowledge in a variety of ways, in order to optimise yield and quality of agricultural products. Many years of experience and in-depth knowledge serve as the foundation for this crucial contribution, to securing food and nutrition for a continuously growing world population.
Dr. Ernst Andres
Director, K+S KALI GmbH
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