In an attempt to encourage African nations to stop buying Russian fertilizer, the European Union developed a working plan that would help then develop their own fertilizer plants.
The draft, dated June 15 and prepared by aides of European Council President Charles Michel, was to be presented at a summit of EU leaders last week, however the EU Commission then "explicitly opposed the text," warning that supporting fertilizer production in developing nations was incompatible with their 'green' initiatives.
EU to Africa: "Don't buy fertilizer from Russia"— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) June 25, 2022
Africa: "Ok then we'll make fertilizer ourselves"
EU: "No you won't, that clashes with our 'green goals'"
Source: https://t.co/ZhcN0JWfN2 pic.twitter.com/NSlpmqWsha
According to Reuters, the original text of the draft conclusions from the June 23-24 summit, the EU executive commission is urged to devise a plan "to support the development of fertiliser manufacturing capacity and alternatives in developing countries".
The Commission, however, urged governments to change the text so that it would only promote alternatives to fertilizers - or a more efficient use of fertilizers, as manufacturing it themselves would be "inconsistent with the EU energy and environment policies."
Higher fertilizer prices have been putting upward pressure on food prices worldwide, as farmers cut back on nutrients for their crops, resulting in lower yields.
"Food prices will skyrocket because farmers will have to make profit, so what happens to consumers?'' said Uche Anyanwu, an agricultural expert at the University of Nigeria.
The aid group Action Aid warns that families in the Horn of Africa are already being driven "to the brink of survival.''
The U.N. says Russia is the world's No. 1 exporter of nitrogen fertilizer and No. 2 in phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. Its ally Belarus, also contending with Western sanctions, is another major fertilizer producer.
Many developing countries — including Mongolia, Honduras, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Mexico and Guatemala — rely on Russia for at least a fifth of their imports. -NPR
"Many people will not use fertilizers at all, and this as a result, lowers the quality of the production and the production itself, and slowly, slowly at one point, they won't be able to farm their land because there will be no income," said Greek farmer Dimitris Filis, who grows olives oranges and lemons, adding "you have to search to find" ammonium nitrate, while the cost of fertilizing a 25-acre olive grove has doubled.