The impact of phosphorus on projected Sub-Saharan Africa food security futures

Magnone, Daniel, Niasar, Vahid J., Bouwman, Alexander F. , Beusen, Arthur H. W., van der Zee, Sjoerd E. A. T. M. and Sattari, Sheida Z. (2022) The impact of phosphorus on projected Sub-Saharan Africa food security futures. Nature Communications, 13 (1). p. 6471. ISSN 2041-1723

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The impact of phosphorus on projected Sub-Saharan Africa food security futures
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Sub-Saharan Africa must urgently improve food security. Phosphorus availability is one of the major barriers to this due to low historical agricultural use. Shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) indicate that only a sustainable (SSP1) or a fossil fuelled future (SSP5) can improve food security (in terms of price, availability, and risk of hunger) whilst nationalistic (SSP3) and unequal (SSP4) pathways worsen food security. Furthermore, sustainable SSP1 requires limited cropland expansion and low phosphorus use whilst the nationalistic SSP3 is as environmentally damaging as the fossil fuelled pathway. The middle of the road future (SSP2) maintains today’s inadequate food security levels only by using approximately 440 million tonnes of phosphate rock. Whilst this is within the current global reserve estimates the market price alone for a commonly used fertiliser (DAP) would cost US$ 130 ± 25 billion for agriculture over the period 2020 to 2050 and the farmgate price could be two to five times higher due to additional costs (e.g. transport, taxation etc.). Thus, to improve food security, economic growth within a sustainability context (SSP1) and the avoidance of nationalist ideology (SSP3) should be prioritised.

Keywords:phosphorus, phosphate, Sub-Saharan Africa, Food security
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F870 Soil Science
F Physical Sciences > F670 Geochemistry
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D690 Food studies not elsewhere classified
F Physical Sciences > F850 Environmental Sciences
F Physical Sciences > F840 Physical Geography
F Physical Sciences > F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life and Environmental Sciences > Department of Geography
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ID Code:52284
Deposited On:22 Nov 2022 13:38

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