International Fertilizer Development Center
Global Center of Excellence
Inducted in 2012
The International Fertilizer Development Center has been a center of excellence addressing international food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development for more than 36 years. IFDC focuses on increasing productivity across the agricultural value chain in developing countries. This is achieved by the creation and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise.
Based in Muscle Shoals, Ala., IFDC is a public international organization, governed by an international board of directors with representation from developed and developing countries. The nonprofit center, with more than 700 employees, is supported by various bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, private foundations and national governments. The center was established in 1974 in response to global food and energy crises. When it was founded, IFDC took on many of the responsibilities of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s National Fertilizer Development Center. The majority of fertilizers in use worldwide were developed by NFDC or IFDC.
IFDC’s North and West Africa Division has eight regional offices in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal, with divisional headquarters in Lomé, Togo. The East and Southern Africa Division has offices and/or staff in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with divisional headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The EurAsia Division has a regional office in Bangladesh and project-specific offices in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
In Bangladesh, IFDC pioneered the development of urea deep placement, a technology that reduces nitrogen losses significantly. UDP, the insertion of large urea briquettes into the rice root zone after transplanting, is expected to increase the net income of the Bangladeshi beneficiary families by $80 per harvest, which is substantial considering the average per capita annual income is around $500. In 2009, UDP reduced Bangladesh’s urea imports by 50,000 metric tons, saving the nation nearly $22 million in fertilizer imports and $14 million in government subsidies. By 2011, rice production increased by almost 1 million tons, ensuring food security for an additional 4.2 million Bangladeshis.
IFDC’s collaborative partnerships combine cutting-edge research and development with on-site training and education, helping enrich and sustain the lives of people around the world. The organization has conducted more than 700 formal workshops, study tours and training programs. The programs cover integrated soil fertility management and fertilizer use efficiency, fertilizer production technology, agro-input dealership, competitive marketing, supply chain management, investment analysis, policy reforms and numerous other specialized topics. Field demonstrations and training have assisted millions of farmers in developing countries.
Through its projects, IFDC has provided sustainable advancements. Incomes of participating farmers and other project beneficiaries rose dramatically and parity in economic and social benefits was established. Children are able to attend school for the first time, bank accounts are being opened for the first time and farmers are able to acquire basic necessities, new tools and additional land to cultivate.
Currently, IFDC is working on projects in 35 countries. To date, the organization has provided assistance in nearly 100 countries.