Food and Fertilizer Security in Today’s Crisis-Riddled World

FAO 20 22 food insecurity map
Date & Time Nov 09 2023 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Bendheim Hall
Dr. Amitava (Amit) Roy
Dr. Wolfgang Danspeckgruber
Audience Open to the Public, Registration Required

Food is essential to human survival, and fertilizers are essential to producing food. 

Over the last years, food insecurity has increased dramatically – particularly in less developed economies and in regions affected by conflict. Today, nearly 750 million people (about 9.2 % of the world’s population) face severe shortages and hunger – much due to inter-state and intra-state conflicts and the acute climate crisis.

Global fertilizer prices have outpaced food prices, in part because of the war in Ukraine which has reduced supplies, raised prices, and made fertilizers less available and less affordable for poorer countries. 

Dr. Amit Roy will reflect on the impact of current world crises on food and fertilizer security and discuss causes and possible long-term mitigation options.



About the Speaker:

Dr. Amitava (Amit) Roy is an agriculturist who specializes in all aspects related to fertilizers in promoting food and nutrition security in less developed economies. Chair of the Sasakawa Africa Association, Japan (dedicated to enhancing the productivity of agriculture in Africa, and supported by the Nippon Foundation), Dr. Roy is also the founding Executive Director of the Global Phosphorus Institute (GPI), which promotes efficient use of phosphorus in agriculture and in other sectors. 

Dr. Roy is a member of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination’s Global Food and Water Security Project, chaired by Dr. Wolfgang Danspeckgruber. 

Dr. Roy is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), where he served in this position for 22 years, retiring in 2015. He developed and established IFDC’s Virtual Fertilizer Research Center (VFRC) in 2010 to coordinate the creation of the next generation of fertilizers and production technologies. 

In August 2020, recognizing the need to reduce air and water pollution from fertilizer use, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency launched the ‘Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer’ challenge initiative. Dr. Roy was appointed the chair of the initiative’s panel of judges to select promising products for further evaluation. 

In 2012, Roy was elected to the Steering Committee of the Global Nutrient Management Project of the United Nations Environment Programme. 

In 2010, along with Prof. Roland Scholz at the ETH Zurich, Dr. Roy co-led the Global Transdisciplinary Processes for Sustainable Phosphorous Management initiative, a multi-year research project that brought together scientists, practitioners, environmentalists, and NGOs to discuss pathways for sustainable phosphorus management. 

In 2008, he addressed the Hunger Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives and offered long-term strategies for ensuring global food security. He appeared on a roundtable at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s World Summit on Food Security, and played a pivotal role in the 2006 Africa Fertilizer Summit in Abuja, Nigeria, which led to the Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for an African Green Revolution.

Dr. Roy is has published widely and worked for more than five decades addressing these issues in more than 100 countries. He was trained as a chemical engineer and holds a B.Tech degree from IIT Kharagpur, India, and a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech.