We are on the precipice of a food fight among 7 billion people, and potash will be right at the center of it.
If you can add 200,000 people every day to the global population and account for a significant loss of farmland at the same time, you can begin to understand the dire food situation facing the planet. This is why potash is so important: It’s the fundamental element that everyone takes for granted, despite the fact that a projected 7.7 billion lives will depend upon it by 2020.
No commodity is more fundamental than potash—and there is a lot of pressure riding on an element that many people aren’t even familiar with. Of the key commodities taken for granted, potash is on the top of the list.
The challenge for farmers—and for the world—is to increase crop yields on less land, which is being lost to climate change and increasing urbanization. This means not only steady demand for the three main elements of fertilizer—potash, phosphate and nitrogen—but significantly higher demand.
“A growing population needing to be fed from a limited amount of arable land makes fertilizer and particularly potash a robust commodity,” Potash RidgePresident and CEO Guy Bentinck told Oilprice.com. “Additionally, as the middle class grows, the demand for higher-end food increases, and with that the demand for potash and related fertilizers increases.”
For such a critical element, it’s hard to believe that potash remains so elusive. It took a high-profile US$40-billion hostile takeover attempt of Saskatchewan’s Potash Corp., which failed, by major miner BHP Billiton in 2010 for even the Wall Street Journal to decide to figure out what all the fuss was about.
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