GPCA Fertilizer Convention focuses on global food security

Muscat - 

The ninth edition of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association's (GPCA) Fertilizer Convention officially began on Wednesday under the patronage of H E Dr Fuad bin Ja’afar bin Mohammed al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, at Kempinski Hotel Muscat.

The GPCA Fertilizer Convention, which is being held for the first time in Oman, is being attended by over 300 delegates including senior government officials from various departments, industry captains and foreign delegates from over 30 countries.

Delivering his opening remarks, Dr Abdulrahman Jawahery, vice-chairman of GPCA, said, “The fertiliser industry is arguably one of the most important industries globally. Fertilisers provide food security and nutrition for the global population, bring prosperity and growth to the agricultural sector, and if applied in an efficient manner help preserve our planet’s ecosystems.

“The GCC countries have resources to become a hub of fertiliser production globally. Currently, the total production of fertiliser in the GCC region is around 39mn tonnes, which is likely to reach up to 45mn tonnes in the next few years.”

Delivering the welcome address at the event, H E Salim al Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, urged the industry to be prepared for a surge in demand in the future as population growth will push demand for more fertilisers in order to boost food security.

“Many, including the United Nations, have food security at the highest level of their agenda, next to energy security, as they go hand-in-hand. I am excited to see the GPCA choose Muscat to host this event focusing on the challenges facing the fertiliser industry. The need for us is to collaborate on research and technologies and the exchange of best practices and ideas for the good of this planet,” H E Aufi said.

He said that the global agricultural production will need to more than double by 2050 in order to meet growing demand for food, as the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7bn people over the next three decades.

“This is creating significant opportunities for the fertiliser industry to respond to these challenges with a new generation of sustainable fertiliser products tailored towards increasing agricultural productivity, while addressing climate change, land degradation and decreasing water resources,” he added.

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