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PhosAgro Becomes the First Russian Company in the History of the FAO Selected by this UN Organisation to Implement a Global Soil Protection Initiative

5 December 2018
Rome – PhosAgro ("PhosAgro" or "the Company") (Moscow Exchange, LSE: PHOR), one of the world’s leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers, has signed a cooperation agreement in the field of sustainable soil management with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

According to the FAO, soil pollution, including through heavy metals such as cadmium, nickel and arsenic, is currently affecting food security throughout the world by limiting crop yields and decreasing product quality. A third of the soil in the world is considered to be degraded, and the area continues to expand. Experts from the FAO have called on all governments to reduce soil pollution for the sake of the planet’s future security. In doing so, they claim that, given that the world's population is projected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, humanity will not be able to produce enough food to feed everyone at current rates of consumption and without healthy soils.

PhosAgro fertilizers are used in 100 countries throughout the world. The Company cannot stand idly by, and it is prepared to expedite a solution to the problem of global food security both by providing farmers around the world with high-quality phosphate-based fertilizers that are low in potentially hazardous impurities and by taking part in international initiatives to protect the environment. One of the effective ways of resolving this issue is the Company’s fruitful cooperation with UNESCO, another organisation in the UN system, to promote scientific and applied research in the field of green chemistry, thus contributing to the improvement of production efficiency and preservation of the environment, with the involvement of young scientists from all around the world.

Taking part in a ceremony to sign the agreement on World Soil Day, PhosAgro Group CEO Andrey Guryev said: “Our strategy is completely consistent with the goals and objectives of the FAO in terms of ensuring global food security and eliminating hunger, and we highly value the practical results of this project. 

“Taking into account the project’s scale and significant potential, PhosAgro will play an important role in establishing a unified global scientific and information mechanism that promotes the advancement of technologies and knowledge in the field of sustainable land use and agriculture, thereby helping farmers, as well as anyone else involved in intensive farming practices, grow crops efficiently, while not contributing to the accumulation of pollutants in the soil.”

PhosAgro Independent Director and former Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova said: “PhosAgro has a strong track record of supporting globally-relevant projects that aim to improve the quality of life for a wide range of stakeholders. I initially had the opportunity to work with the Company when they became the first Russian company in the history of the entire UN system to provide financial support for a joint initiative with UNESCO and the IUPAC. The Green Chemistry for Life programme, which has been running for over five years now, has helped talented young scientists from all over the world to further develop projects based on the green chemistry principles and green technologies. 

“I am extremely pleased that PhosAgro is now developing a project with FAO, another UN organisation. This joint PhosAgro-FAO project is a timely initiative aimed at resolving challenges faced everywhere in the world, and that are part of the global sustainability agenda to 2030. Particular attention will be paid to goals like eliminating hunger and poverty in developing countries, protecting our planet’s ecosystem and cooperation on improving healthcare.”

Marcela Villareal, FAO director for partnerships and south-south corporation division said: “Through signing this Agreement today, both PhosAgro and FAO express the commitment to strengthen our collaboration into a fruitful partnership, with the specific goals of supporting small scale farmers through the Global Soils Doctors Programme and the enhancement of national soil laboratories through the Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN)” 

“I trust this collaboration will become an innovative and replicable model of partnerships between FAO and the private sector that will concretely contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda.”

About the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. The FAO’s goal is to achieve food security for all and to make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food. With no fewer than 194 member states, the FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. The FAO is a neutral forum, as well as a source of knowledge and information. It helps developing countries and countries in transition modernise and improve their agriculture, forestry and fishery industries.