After World War II, the evolution of Europe's agro-food system has been marked by intensified use of synthetic fertilizers, territorial specialization, and integration in global food and feed markets. This evolution led to increased nitrogen (N) losses to aquatic environments and the atmosphere, which, despite increasing environmental regulations, continues to harm ecosystems and human well-being.
Elsevier, Science of the Total Environment, Volume 648, 15 January 2019
One of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations (UN) aims by 2030 to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”. Fertilizers will play a pivotal role in achieving that goal given that ~90% of crop production growth is expected to come from higher yields and increased cropping intensity. However, materials-science research on fertilizers has received little attention, especially in Africa.