Happy Global Fertilizer Day
On the occasion of the Global Fertilizer Day on October 13th and the World Food Day on October 16th, we would like to remind the critical role that fertilizers play in producing enough food, with a reference to bread, the staple of our dinner tables.
Ottomans called bread “nan-ı aziz”, which meant “precious bread”, to express the grandeur of this cherished food. As a matter of fact, bread has a divine meaning for all of us. A sign of wealth and prosperity that deeply penetrates into our lives...
In Turkey, we consume 86 million loaves a day, and 31.4 billion a year. The primary raw material for bread is wheat. Wheat is also the starting point of agriculture, and a crown jewel for Turkish farmers. According to the five-year average, a total of 20.7 million tons of wheat is produced in our country, and almost all of it is consumed domestically. The role of wheat in global consumption is not that different, either. According to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), field crops such as wheat, barley, corn, rice, and others comprise 68% of all foods consumed by people around the world. The share of fruits and vegetables is 22%, while animal-based foods make up only 10%.
Food safety lies with fertilizers…
We are faced with a thought-provoking reality that we must accept. The number of people, hence the number of mouths to feed, is rising rapidly, while the surface area of agricultural lands is decreasing day by day. When agriculture first started nearly 12-14 thousand years ago, the size of arable land per capita was 15 hectares. This area was reduced to 0.3 hectares by the early 20th century, and today we have to make do with 0.1-0.15 hectares.
The rapid disappearance of arable lands is a serious threat to the future of humanity. Since it is not really possible to expand existing areas, we have no option but to use the lands more effectively in order to produce enough food. Otherwise, it will not be possible to feed a world population that is expected to rise to 9.8 billion by 2050.
The keyword for this increase in output is fertilizers. Because plants, just like humans, are in need of nutrients. Fertilizers directly contribute 50% of global food production thanks to their effect on output growth. Speaking of wheat only, research shows that diligent use of fertilizers accounts for 40-65% of wheat output.
That’s why we, as the largest fertilizer producer in Turkey, see this as a responsibility. Because we know that without the added yield contributed by fertilizers, our lands will be able to feed only half our population.
Wishing continued abundance on your dinner tables...