Rome – PhosAgro and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN FAO) announced the expansion of their cooperation in global soil protection.
This agreement was reached following a meeting between PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev and Director General of the UN FAO Qu Dongyu at the organisation's headquarters in Rome.
The parties decided to extend their Cooperation Agreement until 2023 as part of a collaborative endeavour to enhance sustainable agriculture. To date, the FAO and PhosAgro have built a global network of 760 soil laboratories that span 150 countries. The parties are also developing the joint Soils Doctors project, which aims to educate farmers on efficient and environmentally friendly ways to manage land, as well as promote the use of best practices in compliance with the International Code of Conduct for Fertilizer Management.
For their new stage of cooperation, the FAO and PhosAgro plan to focus on solving the problem of soil contamination, including heavy metal pollution. Over the next two years, PhosAgro will provide another USD 1.2 million in funding for the initiative. As a result, by 2023, PhosAgro's total contribution to the project will reach USD 2.4 million.
In addition, starting next year, PhosAgro will join the FAO RECSOIL Global Soil Partnership (GSP) initiative, which focuses on organic soil carbon management and sequestration, critical in the fight against climate change.
PhosAgro also contributed USD 300,000 in funding for establishing a ‘Russia Room’ for official events at FAO headquarters. This initiative will showcase Russia's rising engagement in FAO activities, as well as the country's standing as a UN system partner in the field of sustainable development.
According to FAO CEO Qu Dongyu, soil health is the cornerstone for providing humanity with food and ecosystem services. Sustainable soil management is a key component of FAO's work to reform agri-food chains since it addresses people's requirements for safe and nutritious food. The relationship with PhosAgro, Qu Dongyu noted, will enable the organisation to scale up its efforts to improve soil health at all levels.
“Our collaboration with the FAO, which has become the gold standard for concentrating efforts in the fight against soil degradation around the world, will take on a new dimension: the implementation of solutions to eradicate hotspots of heavy metal pollution in soil. It is important that PhosAgro fertilizers are unique in that they are eco-efficient and do not contain hazardous levels of cadmium that could be harmful to human and soil health, meaning the Company contributes to solving soil pollution while ensuring food security in Russia and 102 other countries around the world,” PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev commented on extending the partnership with the UN FAO.
Andrey Guryev recalled that in 2018, PhosAgro became the first Russian company ever to be selected to implement a global soil protection initiative: “This is a great honour and responsibility for us. This year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary. Throughout these 20 years, aspects of sustainable development have been the company’s key priority. We embrace the UN FAO attitude and seek to create industry-leading quality and safety standards by offering our eco-efficient products to consumers on all inhabited continents.”