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What troubles do shortages and higher prices of artificial fertilizers bring to Serbia?

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“The lack and high price of fertilizers will not only affect farmers in Serbia, but also the environment and other countries, and will have a terrible impact on increasing the price of all agricultural products, especially those sown in autumn and those sown in spring,” said agroeconomist Milan. Spacious in the show “Sputnik Energy”.

The global rise in energy prices has led to a chain rise in many industries, including the production of fertilizers. Due to the increase in the price of natural gas, the price of mineral fertilizers has tripled, and the big problem is that there is a shortage of that raw material on the world market.

In Serbia, where artificial fertilizers have risen in price by more than 100 percent in less than a year, and new price increases are yet to come before the spring sowing. The problem is that the country largely depends on the import of these products. Our country, on average, imports between 450,000 and 500,000 tons of nitrogen fertilizers and between 200,000 and 250,000 tons of NPK fertilizers, mainly from Russia, Austria, Romania, Hungary and Croatia.

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Serbia imports fertilizers

Of the former seven, three producers of mineral fertilizers are currently operating in Serbia: “Elixir Prahovo”, “Elixir Zorka” and PROMIST, which cannot provide sufficient quantities of fertilizers. Prostran reminds that Serbia was a country of production of mineral fertilizers, but that with the closure of factories, high production was lost:

“We have produced the highest quality, the so-called complex mineral fertilizers, which had all three chemical elements: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the so-called. NPK. We produced basic mineral fertilizers that are usually used in the fall to improve the soil after deep plowing, and we used nitrogen mineral fertilizers to nourish and care for crops during the growing season. With such a high price, we destroyed most of that industry. ”

He adds that due to the lack of organic fertilizer and low-quality mineral fertilizer, the quality of the soil has dropped to such an extent that the humus part, which amounted to slightly more than five percent, has fallen below 2.5 percent.

“Due to various bad manipulations with plant protection products and other chemicals, we have 50,000 hectares of agricultural land that have been completely destroyed, they are no longer usable. The fact that the humus part dropped from more than five to below 2.5 percent, means that the red light is on. This urgently requires solutions. “There are solutions such as recultivating the land by sowing grass, which the West is doing,” Prostran points out.

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What is the solution to the problem

To mitigate the impact of expensive fertilizers, the Serbian government has decided to exempt imports of nitrogen fertilizers and anhydrous ammonia from customs duties in the next six months, which should provide enough fertilizers for the upcoming sowing and necessary production in agriculture.

“These are forced measures, because you are trying to amortize an extremely high price. I heard data in Croatia, their farmers claim that the price for the protection of plants and mineral fertilizers, and they saved the factory in Kutina, increased by 70 percent. “Imagine how much that will have an impact on the price of wheat at the beginning of July or on the price of spring crops that are sown on about two million hectares in our country,” warns Prostran.

He suggests that serious consideration be given to building a new large fertilizer factory, as well as introducing a price recourse, and that this be seen as an extraordinary, urgent measure:

“If we don’t do that, farmers will probably reduce consumption first. Reduced consumption will affect the reduction of gender and the total fund and balance of food. This issue should be taken extremely seriously. Farmers in Croatia believe that they will go bankrupt next year due to high input prices. At least they have the EU, which will use some means to absorb this blow, but in general it is unbearable today. ”

In the long run, the situation with import dependence can only be solved by increasing domestic production. Especially since the consumption of artificial fertilizers is growing rapidly, ie. it grew to these price increases. Farmers are now calculating whether and how much they will reduce the use of artificial fertilizers, which could have a negative impact on the upcoming harvests and prices of agricultural products, Sputnik writes.

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