Russia’s PhosAgro donates $1.2 million to improve sustainable soil management in Africa, Latin America and the Near East

FAO project aims to enhance farmers’ skills in assessing soil conditions and strengthen capacities of national soil laboratories

5 December 2018, Rome - PhosAgro, Russia's leading phosphate-based fertiliser producer, today signed an agreement with FAO to donate $1.2 million to improve farmers' skills in sustainable soil management and enhance the capacities of national soil laboratories in Africa, Latin America and the Near East.

The contribution will help farmers to enhance their capacities in soil condition assessment and informed decision-making regarding sustainable soil management, particularly soil fertility, as well as facilitate knowledge exchange among farmers.

The Soil Doctors Testing Kits - special kits for assessing soil condition  - will be developed and distributed to at least 5,000 farmers in participating countries who will also receive training on how to use them.

A key component of the two -year project is the establishment of regional soil laboratory networks (RESOLANs) in Africa, Latin America and the Near East. The project envisages strengthening of soil laboratories in developing countries with a focus on assessing fertilizers' quality and safety.

Promoting sustainable soil management for healthy soils ensures that people have safe and nutritious food without endangering essential ecosystem services.

The contribution agreement was signed today on the sidelines of the World Soil Day celebrations at FAO headquarters in Rome by Marcela Villarreal, FAO Director for Partnerships and South-South Cooperation Division, and Andrey Guryev, Chief Executive Officer of PhosAgro.

"Through signing this Agreement today, both PhosAgro and FAO express the commitment to strengthen our collaboration into a fruitful partnership, with the specific goals of supporting small scale farmers through the Global Soils Doctors Programme and the enhancement of national soil laboratories through the Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN)," said Villarreal.

"I trust this collaboration will become an innovative and replicable model of partnerships between FAO and the private sector that will concretely contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda," she added.

"Our strategy is fully consistent with FAO's goals and objectives to ensure global food security and eliminate hunger, and we highly appreciate the practical result from the implementation of this project," said Guryev.

"Taking into consideration the scope and significant potential of the project, PhosAgro will play an important role in establishing a unified global scientific and information mechanism that will facilitate the promotion of new technologies and knowledge in the field of sustainable land-use and agriculture. Doing so will help farmers and agricultural workers, who are actively involved in intensive agricultural practices, effectively grow crops without accumulating pollutants in the soil," he added.

PhosAgro is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe, the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock, one of the leading producers of feed phosphates in Europe, and Russia's only producer of nepheline concentrate. 

Photo: ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto
Andrey Guryev, CEO of PhosAgro, and Marcela Villarreal, Director, Partnerships and South-South Cooperation Division, at the signing ceremony at FAO headquarters, in Rome, today.