Fertilisers: Ensuring availability, affordability and long-term autonomy
Parliament urges the Commission to ensure the supply of fertilisers, take action to bring down prices and increase the EU’s strategic autonomy in fertilisers, Plenary session, AGRI .
In a resolution approved on Thursday by show of hands, MEPs call for a long-term EU fertiliser strategy and a long-term EU soil nutrient strategy by June 2023.
They note that Russian gas, used in the production of fertilisers, contributes to financing the war in Ukraine and call, therefore, “for sufficient resources to be allocated as soon as possible to end dependence on this gas”.
MEPs also acknowledge that being self-sufficient on mineral fertilisers “is not realistic” in the medium term and that raw materials used to produce fertilisers often come from autocratic regimes. The EU should “not replace one dependency with another” and must increase its strategic autonomy in fertilisers.
As a short-term measure to increase the availability of fertilisers for farmers and stabilise prices, MEPs propose using part of the agricultural 2023 budget to provide immediate assistance to farmers and to extend the temporary suspension of import duties to all mineral fertilisers apart from those coming from Russia and Belarus. They also call on the Commission to look into a joint purchase mechanism for fertilisers at EU level and how bottlenecks in the market for fertilisers can be reduced. In the long-term, MEPs recommend accelerating the decarbonising process and using fossil-free and recycled nutrients to produce fertilisers.
The rapporteur and chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Norbert Lins (EPP, DE), said: “We urgently need to secure an adequate supply of fertilisers for our farmers and we need more action to bring down their prices. Fertilisers are essential for food security. Replacing and complementing mineral fertilisers with nutrients from organic sources would widen the toolbox for farmers significantly and make European agriculture less dependent on fertiliser imports from third countries.”
Following the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the prices of fertilisers and energy increased sharply, having an impact on the cost of food. Prices for nitrogen fertilisers increased by 149% in September 2022, with the largest fertiliser manufactures registering record profits.
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