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Presenting the Findings of the Inaugural High Level Forum 

Discover more about the key messages, outcomes, and recommendations of IFA’s trailblazing meeting in the inspiring Forum report.

Download the document.






In the opening session David Nabarro of 4SD, 2018 World Food Prize laureate and Conference Chair, Mostafa Terrab, Chairman of OCP and IFA Chairperson and His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, AGRA Chairperson and former Prime Minister of Ethiopia introduced the conference.


Discussions included the vital role of plant nutrition in feeding the world and repairing global food systems, the need for the fertilizer industry to engage in transparent dialogue and embrace inclusiveness and the need for balanced nutrient management in sub-Saharan Africa where fertilizer application levels are still far below recommended levels:

Healthier diets for a more sustainable planet – What role for plant nutrition?


Setting the Scene

Moderated by David Nabarro, the panel featured Bruce Campbell, Director of CCAFS, Theo De Jager, President of the World Farmers' Organization, Diane Holdorf, MD of Food & Nature at the WBCSD, Howarth Bouis, Director of Harvest Plus and the 2016 World Food Prize Laureate, and Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara as participants 


The session covered de-risking smallholder famers, reducing emissions through diets, embracing science sustainable climate change solutions, what it really means to transform food systems, the opportunity for foliar micronutrient applications to improve mineral deficiencies and the environmental costs of agriculture outweighing its value, and more:

Science & Extension – What do we know and what do we not yet know?

Moderated by Marco Ferroni, Chair of the CGIAR System Management Board, this session featured Achim Dobermann, Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research (and incoming IFA Chief Scientist), Martin Kropff, Director General of CIMMYT, Matthew Morell, Director General of IRRI and Tom Bruulsema, Chairperson of IFA’s International Scientific Panel on Sustainable Plant Nutrition.

Policies and incentives to promote access to fertilizers and more effective application thereof

Moderated by IFA Director General Charlotte Hebebrand, this session featured His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Jacqueline Alvarez, Senior Programme Officer, Chemicals and Health Branch at UNEP, Hans Dreyer, Head of the FAO Plant Production and Protection Division, David Kanter, Vice Chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative, Sameer Goel, MD of Coromandel International and Oliver Hatfield, VP of Business Development at  Argus Media.

Resource use and impacts

Moderated by Patrick Heffer, Senior Director of IFA’s Agriculture Service, this session featured Janez Potocnik, Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel, Laurent Auguste, Sr EVP of Development, Innovation & Markets at Veolia, David Cleary, Global Agriculture Director of The Nature Conservancy, Lena Schulte-Uebbing, PhD Researcher at Wageningen University & Research and Raviv Zoller, CEO of ICL.

Technology & innovation

Moderated by Valérie Renard, Sales & Marketing Director at Prayon, this session featured Holger Kray, Practice Manager, Agriculture and Food Security at the World Bank, Julia Harnal, VP of Global Sustainability & Governmental Affairs, Agricultural Solutions at BASF, Charlotte Gabriel-Robez, Agriculture Portfolio Manager at Airbus and Chuck Magro, CEO of Nutrien.


Wrap up, discussion and recommendations

Moderated by David Nabarro, the forum’s final session featured Theo De Jager, Achim Dobermann, Mostafa Terrab and Albin Hubscher, President of IFDC.


Observations included the need for innovation in food systems which are under unprecedent pressure, the need for science-based solutions and high-quality data driven by new partnerships, the still significant yield gaps in many areas and how business models should evolve from product centric perspectives to providing solutions for farmers:

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