NZ currently uses about a million tonnes of phosphate fertiliser each year. Its use underpins our entire agricultural economy so in the context of global shortages of oil and other resources, it should play a big part of our discussions. According to the U.S. Geological Survey “There are no substitutes for phosphorus in agriculture” (organic and permaculture aside). We currently import 80% of our phosphate fertiliser from Morocco.
While Morocco has their name on the manifest of the bulk carriers that regularly stop off at Tauranga, Napier and Port Chalmers, the phosphate in fact comes from West Sahara. This region is under military occupation by Morocco and while the NZ government acknowledges the occupation is illegal, the importation of phosphate from Morocco is allowed.
Just like oil, we are a small player at the end of a long, fragile supply chain. We are dreaming if we think we can keep importing it indefinitely in the face of a global shortage. Farmgeek continues… Keep Reading…
Article Source: : SC Agriculture