Monday, July 18, 2022

Guelph professor calls for fertilizer subsidies

Dr. Manish Raizada of the University of Guelph is urging the federal government to provide farmers relief from sky-high fertilizer prices.

He said farmers’ margins for corn production are razor thin – only one cent per cob, he said.

He also drew attention to the 35 per cent tariff imposed on nitrogen from Russia to punish the country for invading the Ukraine.

“Without fertilizer, yields will collapse and families will be pushed into chronic malnutrition and further poverty,” he said, recalling that 150 million people suffered malnutrition when energy cost spiked in 2007-09. 


Governments also need to provide subsidies to farmers for experiments and to adopt fertilizer reduction approaches in the short term, Raizada said.

In the longer term, governments need to continue funding research into more sustainable alternatives, including probiotic microbes, he said.  

Raizada recently discussed fertilizer shortages in a global webcast hosted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and participated in a British Broadcasting Corporation production on The Climate Question.