Fertilizer shortage could impact crop yields over the next year

Experts warn that poor consumers may be the hardest hit.

Updated: November 27, 2021 - 4:49pm

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Experts are warning that the dual energy and supply chain crises could serve to significantly disrupt global crop production, potentially disrupting food supplies for poorer consumers in particular.

Those ongoing crises are helping to temporarily decrease the global supply of fertilizer, a critical component in much of world agriculture and one that allows farmers to grow considerable quantities of crops in much of the world’s soils. 

The fertilizer shortage is “impacting food prices all over the world and it hits the wallets of many people,” Yara International Director Svein Tore Holsether told the BBC this week.

“But for some people, especially in the developing world, this is not only a question about the wallet, but it's a question of life or death."

Fertilizer production depends in particular on natural gas, which has been in shorter supply over the past year due to a variety of supply and demand issues, many of them related to the pandemic.