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IFDC Launches Virtual Fertilizer Research Center
Date:2/23/2010

IFDC is launching the Virtual Fertilizer Research Center (VFRC), a global research initiative to create the next generation of fertilizers and production technologies, with initial financial support provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Muscle Shoals, AL (Vocus) Feb. 23, 2010 -- IFDC is launching the Virtual Fertilizer Research Center (VFRC), a global research initiative to create the next generation of fertilizers and production technologies, with initial financial support provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development. New and improved fertilizers are critical elements in the effort to help feed the world’s growing population, provide sustainable global food security and protect the environment.

The United Nations Population Division estimates that the global population is more than 6.8 billion and could reach 9.2 billion by 2050. More than 95 percent of the population growth is occurring in Africa and Asia, which already account for three-fourths of the global population. There is a finite limit of arable land, and even though land remains that could be converted to agricultural production (particularly in Africa), the environmental cost of doing so is increasing.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the number of hungry people recently passed the one-billion mark – more than one-seventh of the world’s population. The number was growing before the global economic crisis, which has made the situation worse. The FAO estimates that Asia and the Pacific region have the largest number of hungry people – 642 million – followed by sub-Saharan Africa with 265 million.

“In 2008, the world struggled with food, fertilizer and fuel price crises that included dramatic price swin
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