By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Tinejdad, June 16, 2013
With the growing food demand and the increase of the world population, Morocco will become one of the world’s major players in securing food security and fighting hunger across the planet.
The Arizona State University released a new research study considering phosphorus “a dwindling nutrient essential for food growth”
Entitled “Secure Food and Water Supply Depend on Phosphorus”, the research linked food security with the availability of phosphorus which is an element found in phosphate.
The Phosphorus Sustainability Research Coordination Network (RCN), a global gathering of researchers and stakeholders, meet in Washington, D.C. last May to discuss ways of making this rich element at the reach of framers to grow enough food for the world population.
“If we want to have a reliable food supply, we need to have affordable fertilizer, which means we must have a sustainable source of phosphorus,” says Elser, a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, a Regents’ Professor at ASU’s School of Life Sciences, and the lead organizer of ASU’s Sustainable P Initiative.
Because the producers of phosphate are limited and the population to feed is in a continuous increase, affording fertilizers for all farmers will be a challenging task.
“Phosphorus isn’t going to disappear; it’s going to get really expensive,” Elser says. “If it becomes very expensive, then only rich countries will have fertilizer to grow their food. But even then prices will go up and that will make it harder for farms to have economically viable operations.”
Elser’s analysis draws to make a logical conclusion: the phosphate producing countries will be rich from the revenues of the fertilizers extracted from phosphate.
With the world’s population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, Morocco will find itself at the center of any global strategy geared towards securing food for all and fighting hunger.
The largest deposits of phosphate are located in Morocco, with a production capacity estimated to 19 million tons per year.
The Cherifien Office of Phosphates (Office Cherifian des Phosphates, OCP), which was founded in August 7, 1920 in Morocco and transformed into a joint-stock company (OCP) in 2008, is the world’s largest exporter of raw phosphate, phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizers.
The company is responsible for the production and sale of Moroccan phosphate resources, extracted from Benguérir, Khouribga, and Youssoufia mines, in central Morocco, totaling 85 billion cubic meters of reserves, and Boucraa in southern Morocco, with about 1 billion cubic meters.
Phosphate remains one of Morocco’s major resources and economic assets. Morocco is the world’s third largest producer of Phosphates after the United States and China.
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