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Farmers around the world revolt by 'Fertilizer war'

Journalist who presided over the Chamber of Deputies, was rapporteur for the Forest Code and minister in the portfolios of Political Coordination and Institutional Relations; of Sport; Science, Technology and Innovation and Defense.

Aldo Rebelo

Translation by Silvia Benchimol, Ewerton Branco, Maria Annarry Tavares (BOLSISTA PRODOUTOR), Eliane Noleto


The combination of the upward pressure on the prices of fertilizers – as a consequence of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia – and the measures taken by governments worldwide aiming at reducing the effect of greenhouse gas emissions is instigating a wave of popular dispute and protests by farmers all around the world.

Thanks to the good relationship held with Russia, Brazil has received necessary supplies to protect, even if partially, our agriculture, livestock and agroindustry from the undesirable shortage effects of this input to our farmers.

The first loss of the “fertilizer war” was Sri Lanka’s agriculture, ruined by an insane governmental decision to ban chemical fertilizers and pesticides, resulting on the fall of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, forced to hastily flee the country using a military plane (Scientific and Ambiental Alert, July 07/2022).

Concurrently, since June, agricultural producers promote loud manifestations against the restrictions imposed by the government of the Netherlands on the use of fertilizers aiming to fulfill goals of lessening the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, which will result on the shutdown of almost a third of the country’s farms (Scientific and Ambiental Alert, July 14/2022).

In a scathing article in the Telegraaf newspaper and on the Climate Intelligence website (July 11, 2022), the Dutch geophysicist Guus Berkhout, a fierce critic of climate alarmism, notes that the Dutch agricultural sector “is seen around the world as an example of how to cultivate intensively in an increasingly sustainable way.” And he asks: “The Netherlands was a country to be proud of. How could it have become so wrong in such a short time?”

In Ireland, the government has just approved a 25% reduction measure in emissions from the farming sector by 2030, seen by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) as a “potentially devastating blow to Irish agriculture and rural economy”.

The only solution for Brazil is to regain autonomy in the production of fertilizers, which was abandoned by the last Brazilian governments. We need to take advantage of the raw material we have available and gain independence in the industrialization of the input.

A country like ours, with the important and vital role of a major food producer for its population and for the world, cannot be dependent on the supply of fertilizers from third parties. It is our obligation to continue in the honorable position of being one of the giants of rural production.