Bustling in Berlin: New AG International Annual event begins

April 10, 2024

The New AG International Annual event had a busy opening today, returning to Berlin after a seven-year interval. The doors of the conference and exhibition opened, following a workshop day that focused on the Fertilising Products Regulation (FPR).

The conference was opened by Professor Ismail Cakmak of Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey who delivered a keynote speech on how fertilizers can help reduce hidden hunger through the use of biofortification.

“There are two types of hunger in the world. Chronic hunger which is having little access to food, and hidden hunger where people have access to food, but the food is low in essential nutrients,” Cakmak said in his introduction. He went on to detail examples of how micronutrients are essential for not only plant health, but also human health. “Plants cannot photosynthesise micronutrients. The source is the soil or fertilizer.”

A panel discussion took place looking at how fertilizers and biostimulants can contribute to food security, a topic that has come to the fore in recent years. Among the questions, the panel were asked if food security could be achieved while also reaching environmental targets and facing price volatility in agri-inputs.

The New AG International Annual is one of the leading events for specialty fertilizer and advanced plant nutrition. One of the speakers today was Rasa Soomar, Managing Director of RNZ Group, a specialty fertilizer company based in Dubai. The company is capable of producing 400 different blends. He spoke of how these fertilizers can help growers become more sustainable. “We’re looking to come out with next generation products, 25 percent more efficient,” said Soomar.

Other topics covered in the first day were inhibitor technologies for nitrogen fertilizers, coatings for controlled-release fertilizers, embedding phosphorus solubilizers into fertilizer granules, nitrogen-fixing trial results, and biofertilizers.

Speaking on micronutrients, Setareh Jamali-Jaghdani, product development for German potash giant K + S gave a comprehensive review of the effects of micronutrient deficiency, and some trial results.

Dr Reji Kurien Thomas, co-founder of TechnoPilot, spoke on vertical farming. The March issue of New AG International has a vertical farming theme. Read here for free.

The New AG International Annual runs to Thursday 11 April.

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