Submitted to: Plant Nutrition Colloquium Proceedings
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2005
Publication Date: 9/14/2005
Citation: Dibbs, D., Roberts, T., Welch, R.M. 2005. From quantity to quality - the importance of fertilizers in human nutrition. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Information Technology in Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Management, Satellite Symposium, 15th International Plant Nutrition Colloquium, September 14-15, 2005, Beijing,China. p. 20-25.
Technical Abstract: Human nutritional deficiencies are widespread and are an expression of the world hunger problem. While hunger, the lack of adequate calories to support a normal working existence, may affect 2 billion people, it is estimated that over 3 billion people suffer from some kind of nutritional deficiency which may result in stunted growth, retarded mental development, human disease, physical deformity symptoms, or even death. Proper plant nutrition is the solution to much of this problem. Public health officials need to recognize the key role that agriculture plays in supplying nutrient rich foods, phytochemicals, and plant and animal derived proteins and vitamins, and that adequate and balanced fertilization is the key to producing high yielding and nutritional food. This paper will discuss the essential role of commercial fertilizers in providing sufficient quantity and quality of food to improve human nutrition.