Fertilizer, a chemical or natural substance added to soil to increase its fertility and thus enhances the growth of plants.
Fertilizers typically provide, in varying proportion:
Three main macronutrients:
- Nitrogen (N): leaf growth;
- Phosphorus (P): Development of roots, flowers, seeds, fruit;
- Potassium (K): Strong stem growth, movement of water in plants, promotion of flowering and fruiting.
Three secondary macronutrients:
- Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur (S)
- Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), and of occasional significance there are Silicon (Si), Cobalt (Co), and Vanadium (V).
- Fertilizer consumption is dependent on the human population and the increase of fertilizers consumption will mainly result from the expansion of the human population.
As shown in Figure 1, different regions have yielded various time-changing trajectories in fertilizers consumption as follows:
The total fertilizers consumption of the world increased rapidly before the mid-1980s. The consumption began to fluctuate since the mid-1980s.
Total fertilizers consumption in developed countries touched a peak during the years 1980 to 1985 and declined since this peak. It began to fluctuate after the late 1990s.
In developing countries, total fertilizers consumption has been increasing since 1961.
- Model analysis shows that the world’s per capita annual consumption of total fertilizers, nitrogenous fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, and potash fertilizers, is 34.6, 24.4, 6.6, and 3.7 kg, respectively.
- Per capita, annual consumption of total fertilizers for Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Oceania, North & Central America, Europe, and South America is 38.8, 5.9, 6.8, 114.0, 62.9, −0.9, and 43.6 kg, respectively.
- The world’s total fertilizers consumption will reach to 226,150,381 MT by 2030, an increase of 32.1% against current level.
- Compared to the current level, worldwide consumption of nitrogenous fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, and potash fertilizers will reach 141,800,601, 50,961,129, and 33,388,650 MT by 2030, increasing 37.5, 25.8, and 21.2% based on current levels. For Asia and Africa, consumption of total, nitrogenous, phosphate, and potash fertilizers will increase 54 to 55% and 40 to 60% by 2030, respectively.
- There will be an increase of 39.4% for the total fertilizers consumption in North & Central America by 2030, and in South America and Oceania, it will increase by 30.9 and 64.7%, respectively.
- By 2030, Caribbean’s consumption for total fertilizers will increase 2.8% and for Europe, total fertilizers consumption is forecast to continuously decline and will have a decrease of 2.4% by 2030.
- Annual relative growths of consumption of total fertilizers, nitrogenous fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, and potash fertilizers for the world, Africa, Asia, and South America were forecast to decrease in the forecast period.
- For North & Central America, annual relative growths of consumption of total fertilizers and nitrogenous fertilizers will decrease and the others will increase annually by 2030.
- Annual relative growths of consumption of total fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, and potash fertilizers for Oceania were forecast to rise annually by 2030. Europe’s annual relative growths of consumption of total fertilizers and potash fertilizers will decrease in the future.
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