ifc
international fertilizer correspondent
No 5


Editorial

Quality - it's what counts in the market place

IPI serves the world
- The WANA region - has potassium been forgotten?
- Food security in the WANA region
- Fertigation - the obvious solution

News
- PDA Leaflets
- Nutrient disequilibria in agroecosystems
- The test of time

News from the market
- What farmers say ... and do
- How much grain will China need?

Research findings

IPI publications

Other editions of IFC

EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

How important is quality to you when you purchase food items? Do you agree with some other consumers who claim that quality is more important to them than price? If you think that domestic and export markets are won, at least partly on the basis of quality, then this edition of International Fertilizer Correspondent will be of special interest.

Potash deals several good hands to farmers and exporters hoping to win orders. Our lead story shows how. And if the regrettable trend towards unbalanced fertilization is not reversed, the soils of the WANA region will not be able to support a continuing increase in high quality fruit and vegetable exports. This is a market that is set to become more competitive as other regions, with fewer climatic and agronomic challenges than the WANA region has to bear, seek to raise their own exports of these high value products. People who are expected to pay for quality demand just that. IPI, through workshops and other gatherings, continues to demonstrate in the WANA region, as elsewhere, that farming without potash incurs penalties, not least deterioration in quality.

Will China become a net exporter or net importer of cereal grains in future? We reveal how analysts predict the impact of the many variables involved. Demand is bound to rise but so too could production and the price that farmers have to pay for fertilizers is an important element of the equation. And how have farmers in India reacted to changing fertilizer costs? Do they, like consumers, put quality above price? We analyse the interesting reactions to India's fertilizer pricing policy.

A. Krauss
Director