[Chinadaily]Value-added fertilizer development on fast track in China
An agricultural drone sprays fertilizer on a wheat field in Daliuzhuang village, Shandong province. [Photo by Ji Zhe/for China Daily]
China is on a fast track in developing value-added fertilizers buoyed by growing demand for efficient fertilizer use and green production in agriculture, experts said.
"Developing value-added fertilizers is an important way to promote green production in China's agriculture sector, as they can boost crops' production with less fertilizer use compared with traditional fertilizers, and are more environmentally friendly," Wang Daolong, chairman of the Value-added Fertilizer Union Association, said recently.
Value-added fertilizer is a fertilizer composition applied to agricultural crops to increase yields with reduced fertilizer use. Compared with traditional fertilizers, value-added fertilizers have additional nutrients such as humic acids, amino acids and proteoglycans.
According to the association, value-added fertilizers can increase crop yields by 14 to 17 percent compared with same amount of traditional fertilizers. Farmers also reportedly find it easier to apply value-added fertilizers to crops compared with other smart fertilizers such as slow-released fertilizers.
"The Value-added Fertilizer Union Association has been working to encourage communications and cooperation between companies and research institutes, and has dedicated itself to promote the application of value-added fertilizers to farmers across the country," Wang said.
To date, annual production of value-added fertilizers has hit 10 million metric tons in China.
Annual production of value-added fertilizers from the association's member companies was around 3.6 million tons by 2019, accounting for about one-third of the countries' total production.
"Our goal is to double the production to about 5 million tons for our member companies in 2020," said Zhao Bingqiang, general secretary of the association.
"Going forward, the association will also work to make value-added fertilizers more nutrient-efficient and environment friendly," said Zhao.
Established in 2012, the Value-added Fertilizer Union Association has 47 member companies, including industry giants China BlueChemical Ltd and Sinofert Holding Ltd, and 17 member universities and research institutes.
From 2018 to 2019, the association member companies have produced and sold over 5.4 million tons of value-added fertilizers across the country.