Food System

Fertiliser Crisis Cost G20 Almost $22 Billion While Fertiliser Companies Set to Make $84 Billion in Profits

Farmers and governments in the G20 spent $21.8 billion more on key fertilisers imports in 2021 and 2022, while the world’s biggest fertiliser companies are expected to make almost US$84 billion profit over the same period, according to new analysis released by GRAIN and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) today.

The Fertilizer Trap

The global food system is addicted to chemical fertilisers. For the past 50 years, these fertilisers have been heavily promoted by global institutions, governments and agribusiness as the means for increasing crop yields, while other options for increasing soil fertility and food production have been ignored or undervalued. The era of cheap fertilisers is over, and the costs have become too much to bear — both in terms of the financial burden for farmers and public budgets, the severe environmental and health impacts, and the long-term risks to food security.

What is systems thinking?

It is not easy to describe systems thinking. After all, the very heart of a systems approach is the opposite of simple: complexity. That is exactly why IATP chooses a systems approach — because in complexity, we find the possibility of transformative change. Beware “win-win” solutions and silver bullets.