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Speaker Q&A - Fernando Garcia

Fernando O. Garcia,
Private consultant and free Professor of The National University of Mar del Plata at Balcarce

In the build-up to the conference, Fernando O. Garcia answers question about the challenges, opportunities and predictions on how the Latin American fertilizer market will change over the next five years.

What opportunities do you see for the Latin American fertilizer market in 2021?

The fertilizer market at Argentina has positively evolved in the last year in Argentina. Most probably this increase would continue in 2021 as farmers realize the positive impact of crop fertilization on yields and profits. Also, soil fertility has been declining in the main grain producing areas of the country because of cropping intensification, high yields and low nutrient replenishment (only 30-40% of nutrient removal in grains has been replenish through fertilization in the 2016-19 period). Challenges for the fertilizer market in 2021 would be grain prices (depending on world economy) and local ag policies.

What are the key challenges affecting your business?

As consultant and research agronomist, I consider that the southern region of South America should respond to the challenges and demands of the society. These challenges and demands would create opportunities for research and innovation in agriculture, and particularly nutrient management and the fertilizer industry. Precision ag, data management, remote sensing, and on-farm research evolve as the tools for today agriculture, as well as the need for improved efficiency/effectiveness in crop and nutrient management and new nutrient sources including recycling.

How do you see your business changing over the next five years?

Fertilizer use and management would orientate to a client-based service to provide nutrients according to 4R nutrient Management at each specific situation of each specific field. Interaction among farmers, industry, research, organizations, and government are key in developing sustainable agricultural systems. We need to look closer to society demands, they create new challenges every day, but also opportunities for innovation and creativity.