Last updated: April 25, 2019
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The hereafter of humanity is at an of import stage as the universe population continues to increase at a high rate where nutrient is lacking in supply in some parts of the universe, while universe grain militias are at their lowest degrees in 20 old ages.

Increased population additions demand for nutrient but besides reduces the per capita country of land available for nutrient and fibre production. As such there is really small country of land that can be used for agribusiness for the production of nutrient. Ironically, there is inordinate nutrient production in states such as India and China. The avenues for researching new engineerings for increasing nutrient production in developed states have non yet been explored.Presents, fertilisers are perceived as a beginning of pollution by many instead than an input for increased production of nutrient and accordingly supplying for nutrient security.

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The flow of foods through ecosystems is a normal procedure but this procedure is accelerated when the land is used for agricultural intents, as there is motion of harvests from Fieldss to topographic points where these are consumed. Hence the most economical manner of hiking alimentary degrees in the dirt is to utilize mineral fertilisers. However the usage of organic fertilisers and the reuse of foods in harvest residues are really of import patterns in maintaining the long-run birthrate and productiveness of the dirt.Malthus ( 1798 ) supported the fact that the balance of a nutrient supply in a inactive place and with nutrient demands increasing at a rapid rate could merely be met merely by diminishing the population through dearth, disease, and war.

Food production requires inputs such as fertilisers either in the organic or inorganic signifier to counterbalance for foods lost in harvested harvests. The deficiency of cognition on how to keep dirt birthrate has caused the prostration of many booming societies. ( Ponting, 1990 ) .

The coming of mineral fertilisers have decreased drastically the cost of transit and labour necessary to replace foods lost through the pattern of agribusiness. ( Baanante, Bumb, and Thompson, 1989 ; Pinstrup-Andersen, 1993 ) .

1.3 History of the fertiliser industry.

The history of the fertiliser industry started every bit early as adult male began started to pattern agribusiness as a means to run into his nutrient demands. Before this alteration in adult male was a huntsman gatherer and hence had to trust on garnering whatever signifiers of nutrient he could happen. Through test and mistake people learnt that add-on of manure, compost ; ashes and other substances would give important additions in output.

( Fertilizer Manual 1998 ) . From past experiences, it has been shown that chemical fertiliser is one of the most of import productiveness hiking input. ( Onuwaka, 2005 ) .

1.4 Foundations for the modern fertiliser industry.

The foundations for the modern fertiliser industry are considered to hold been laid down by Justus Von Liebig. He highlighted the importance of mineral elements in works nutrition.

He identified that N is an of import component in the nutrition of workss. His vision of the fertiliser industry was that phosphate, calcium hydroxide and periclase being produced in chemical mills and besides suggested the reaction of castanetss with sulfuric acid to bring forth phosphate which could be made readily available for uptake by workss. ( Fertilizer Manual 1998 ) .

1.5. The Fertilizer Era

When works scientists felt the necessity for N fertilisers, they were seeking for beginnings which could be used as fertilisers. The first 1 was guano, the bird dungs that were deposited on shores but were depleted by 1890.

( Smil, 2001 ) . It was apparent that these sedimentations would non last everlastingly therefore the industrial production of N became necessary. The procedures that were used were far excessively inefficient and energy consuming and the methods were as follows:Coking of coalHigh temperature synthesis of cynamideNitrogen arrested development by electrical discharge.However, these procedures could non run into the demands of developing agribusiness. However the innovation of the Haber-Bosch procedure is likely one of the of import developments in the twentieth century as without this innovation it would hold been impossible to bring forth nutrient at a planetary degree. Harmonizing to Smil ( 2001 ) , man-made fertiliser is the beginning of foods for over half of the foods available to one-year and lasting harvests.


6 Overview of fertiliser industry from the twelvemonth 2003-2008.

Mauritius imports its fertiliser chiefly from the undermentioned states: Israel, South Africa, Egypt, Australia, China, India, and Belgium. ( Anon, 2002 ) .The ingestion of fertilisers has decreased in the twelvemonth 2002 from 64739 to 48109 metric tons in 2006.This represents a lessening of approximately 30 % . The same can be said about the alimentary contents imported which has experienced a lessening of 22 % in the instance of N, 15.

4 % in the instance of P and 32.5 % in the monetary value of potassium hydroxide.

Table 1.

6.1 shows the ingestion of fertilisers from the twelvemonth 2002 to 2006

YearMerchandise weightFood contentsNitrogenP2O5K2O2002647391102840111329620036350710742409411516200461266104994022122482005508709908582914196200648109861433929397Beginning: Central Statistics Office ( Quantity in metric tons, c.i.f value in Rs ‘000 )

1.7 Price of fertilisers from the twelvemonth 2005 to 2008

The monetary value of fertilisers has increased well during this period ( Digest of Agricultural Statistics 2008 ) . Farmers have started to utilize less and less fertilisers in their Fieldss as supported by the tendency in the ingestion of fertilisers. The monetary value of fertilisers has increased significantly from the twelvemonth 2002 to the twelvemonth 2006. ( Table 1.

6.2 ) .For illustration the monetary value of muriate of potassium hydroxide has experienced an addition of 222 % .

Bumb ( 2008 ) states that husbandmans in developed states are utilizing greater sums of fertilisers to better outputs which are taking to an addition in the monetary value of fertilisers.Table 1.6.2 shows the tendency in fertiliser monetary values from the twelvemonth 2005-2008Fertilizers2005200620072008Straight fertilisersMono-Ammonium phosphate ( Granular )12500131352033330559Urea ( Granular )11500127001351826512Muriate of Potash ( Granular )8750105381094928139Di-Ammonium Phosphate ( Granular )152251793548583Beginning: Digest of Agricultural statistics 2008, Central Statistics office


8 Fertilizer distribution channels in Mauritius

The model of the fertiliser sector differs from state to state. Gregory and Bumb ( 2006 ) have determined that by agencies of several IFDC market surveies that there are six supply concatenation systems in sub-Saharan Africa ( SSA ) as shown in the figure. The list is non thorough as in some states there may be merely one type of system implemented whilst in some a combination of these systems work together. In Mauritius, a combination of 1, 2 and 5 exist soon to provide fertilisers to the local agricultural community.

Figure 1.8.1 Fertilizer distribution systems in Sub-saharan states







Domestic Production 2.Imported supply 3. Imported Incorporate Supply.

Export Crop Processors


Farmer GroupsRetailersFarmersFarmersFarmers

Procurement Agency4. Farmer Groups 5.

Cooperatives 6.Government Agencies


Distribution Agency


Nongovernmental organization

CooperativesMembers ( husbandmans )Farmer GroupsFarmersFarmersBeginning: Gregory and Bumb 2006.


9 Main manufacturers of fertilisers in Mauritius

The companies bring forthing fertiliser for the local market are the Mauritius Chemical Fertilizer Industry ( MCFI ) and Island Fertilizers. The MCFI Company has been established in fertiliser production since 1975. It started its operation as a maker and provider of consecutive fertilisers to the local agricultural community. MCFI is besides involved in export of fertilisers to states in the part that is in the Indian Ocean and East African states. Several classs of NPK fertilisers are manufactured for specific application as required by the local agricultural community. Table 1.9.1 shows the different fertiliser classs marketed by MCFI.

The company besides produces classs for export. The works can besides bring forth specific preparations of fertilisers based on the recommendation of the client and include secondary foods and micro-nutrients such as Sulphur, Manganese, Boron, Iron and other elements.

Table 1.9.1 shows the different types of fertiliser marketed by MCFI.

Local classs




18-0-27, 16-0-25, 21-0-21

17-8-25, 20-8-28, 23-8-23, 23-0-30, 28-0-24.

Vegetables, fruits and flowers

12-12-18-2, 13-13-20-2MgO







9.2 Stability of supply of fertilisers from 2003 to 2008.

The supply of fertilisers has non been stable during this clip period as there were important alterations in natural stuffs in footings of monetary value and specifications. There has besides been a alteration in the ingestion form of fertilisers and a lessening in the ingestion volume. ( Mr.

R.Jatooa 2009, personal communicating ) .

1.9.3 Problems presently faced by the fertiliser industry

The fertiliser industry is presently confronting challenges in the signifier of unstable monetary values of natural stuffs which affect well the cost of production which is already high.

There is besides the job of decreasing volume which is non economically executable for bulk importing. This explains the high monetary value of fertilisers. ( Mr.

R.Jatooa 2009, personal communicating ) .

1.9 Definition of fertiliser

A fertiliser is defined as a compound which is added to the dirt to supply the foods necessary for the proper growing and development of the workss. ( Fertilizer manual 1998 ) . From research it is known that 16 elements are indispensable for normal development of workss ( Marschnner, 1995 ) . Fertilizers can be classified as organic and inorganic fertilisers.

Organic fertilisers are fertilisers that are made by populating things. Examples of organic fertilisers are carnal manures, compost, bone repast and blood repast. On the other manus, man-made fertilisers are manufactured from inanimate beginnings. An illustration is stone phosphate which supplies P.It should be noted that organic fertilisers do non let go of the foods instantly upon application as before they can be utilized they have to be split into simpler signifiers for consumption by the workss. However since the foods are antecedently in organic signifier, they can be used straight by the workss. Organic fertilisers besides amend the dirt construction and increase the H2O and alimentary keeping capacity of the dirt.Organic fertilisers have certain disadvantages as mentioned antecedently, they do non let go of the foods outright.

Alimentary lack may besides originate from reliant usage of organic fertilisers.Inorganic fertilisers release foods more readily to workss upon application. However they have three chief disadvantages viz. :The fertiliser can pervade in the dirt thereby the foods are non available to the workss if the fertilisers is washed by rain or irrigation H2O.Heavy usage of chemical fertilisers can do works Burnss and can take to dehydration as this is attributed to the presence of chemical salts in the composing of the chemical fertilisers.The usage of chemical fertilisers can take in the long tally to toxic concentrations and upset the chemical equilibrium in the dirt.There are several elements that are required for the proper operation of a plant.

These are shown in table 1.6.1

Table 1.6.1: The indispensable elements, their signifier for uptake and maps in the works.

Essential componentForm for consumptionFunctions in worksC, H, O, N, SIons in solution ( HCO-3, NO-3,NH+4, SO42- ) or gases in ambiance ( O2, SO2, N2 )Major components of organic substancesP, BIons in solution ( PO43- , BO33- )Energy transportation reactions and saccharide motionsK, Mg, Ca, ClIons in solution( K+ , Mg2+ , Ca 2+ , Cl – )Non-specific or specific constituents of organic compounds or keeping ionic balance.Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, ZnIons or chelates in solution ( Cu2+ , Fe 2+ , Mn 2+ , MoO- , Zn2+Enable negatron conveyance and Acts of the Apostless as accelerators for enzymes.

Beginning: From Mengel, K. and E.A, Kirby 1987. Principles of works nutrition, 4th erectile dysfunction. International Potash Institute, Berne, Switzerland.

1.10 Fertilizer class

The fertiliser class is found on the fertiliser merchandise which is denoted by a sequence of 3 Numberss. These Numberss are spaced by 3 elans.

These Numberss give an approximative value of each of the foods present in the fertiliser that is Nitrogen ( N ) , Phosphorus ( P ) and Potassium ( K ) . However it is of import to observe that the Numberss represent merely the sum of foods present in the fertiliser. These Numberss are determined by standard analytical processs.

This grade excludes any foods present in the signifier which would non be available to the workss for consumption. ( Fertilizer Manual 1998 ) . Fertilizers besides deliver secondary elements such as Calcium ( Ca ) , Sulphur ( S ) , Magnesium ( Mg ) and trace elements such as Fe ( Fe ) , Manganese ( Mn ) , Molybdenum ( Mo ) , Copper ( Cu ) , Boron ( B ) , Zinc ( Zn ) . ( Guide Agricole, AREU 2009 )


10.1 Fertilizer class


1.11 Types of fertilisers normally used in Mauritius

There are fundamentally two types of fertilisers that are most normally used in Mauritius.Simple fertiliser: It contains merely one alimentary component ( N or P or K e.g. Urea, Triple superphosphate )Complex fertiliser that contain several alimentary elements ( N, P and K ) , e.

g. 13:13:20:2 which contains 13 % N, 13 % P2 O5, 20 % K2O and 2 % MgO. ( Guide Agricole 2004 )Table 1.11.1 shows the most normally used nitrogen fertiliser classs in Mauritius.

Composition in the tabular array is expressed as ( % ) .FertilizerNitrogenP2O5K2OMgONitrogen FertilizerAmmonium Sulfate21

Calcium Ammonium Nitrate ( C.A.N )26-28


Beginning: AREU 2009.

Table 1.11.2 shows the most normally used phosphate fertiliser classsFertilizerNitrogenP2O5K2OMgOPhosphate FertilizerTernary superphosphate46

Monoammonium phosphate ( MAP )1152

Diammonium phosphate ( DAP )1846

Beginning: Guide Agricole, AREU 2009.Table 1.

11.3 shows the most normally used blended fertiliser classs.Blended fertilisersNitrogenP2O5K2OMgO13:13:20:2131320214:20:20142020



Beginning: Guide Agricole, AREU 2009.

1.12 Blended Fertilizers

Blended fertilisers were introduced in Mauritius because of the comparatively high cost of complex fertilisers. Blended fertilisers can be produced in a broad assortment of classs ( % NPK ) . This is one ground that this type of fertilisers are really convenient to bring forth on recommendations by the agricultural community. Hence they are really popular throughout the universe.

Complex fertilisers are produced in mills by chemical reactions. Blended fertilisers on the other manus, are merely mixed in majority together so that there the overall size of the different fertiliser granules can non be distinguished. The different fertiliser granules can therefore be identified by their different colourss. ( Guide Agricole, AREU 2009 )In order to obtain the specific proportions that are required in the blends, a filler is used ( inert stuff ) which is combined together with the other granulated constituents. The filler stuff being indissoluble does non fade out upon contact with H2O and hence corsets in the dirt. This gives the feeling that the blended fertiliser is non effectual as compared to the composite fertilisers which is non the instance.

( Guide Agricole, AREU 2009 ) .

1.13 Foliar Fertiliser

Leafs absorb food in solution more efficaciously.

Foliar fertilisation is the procedure during which fertilizer solutions are sprayed straight on the foliages. In this type of fertiliser application, the chief purpose to provide the necessary foods in instance of lacks in microelements such as Calcium, Iron, Boron, Copper, and Manganese. The foods in solution have the advantage in that they are instantly available and are assimilated by the works. ( Guide Agricole, AREU 2009 ) .

1.14 Slow release Fertiliser

Slow-release fertilisers are fertilisers as the name suggests they release foods bit by bit in the dirt H2O. In this type of fertiliser, the granules are protected with a bed, for e.g. urea coated with sulfur. Slow-release fertiliser has a important advantage over standard fertilisers as the workss absorb the foods as they are released in little sums by the granules.

In this manner, utilizing these types of fertilisers reduces to a great extent the food leaching to the environment. However slow-release fertilisers are rather expensive. ( Guide Agricole, AREU 2009 ) .

Table1.14.1 shows the functions of the major foods in workss.



Nitrogen ( N )Main component in proteinsPromotes growing, development of root and foliagesPhosphorus ( P )Promote development of rootsEssential for growing of the worksPlaies an of import function in fertilisationPotassium ( K )Controls of import maps in the worksPromote synthesis and accretion of sugars.Increase pest opposition.Beginning: ( Guide Agricole, AREU 2009 ) .


0 Bio-fertilizers

A bio-fertilizer is either a liquid or a solid which contains micro-organisms which can repair N from the air or do phosphate and K soluble in the dirt. It is of import to observe that the birthrate of the dirt is greatly increased as this accelerates microbic activity. ( Guide Agricole, AREU 2009 ) .Table 15.1 shows the distinguishable belongingss of some bio-fertilizers.Bio-FertilizerPropertyRhizobiumImproves arrested development of Nitrogen in leguminous workss such as soy, peanuts, and black-eyed pea.Applicable specifically to leguminous workssAzobacterImproves arrested development of NitrogenApplies to all types of workssPhosphate solubilizersImproves rate of release of phosphate in the atoms of dirt.Potassium mobilizersRetrieves the K fixed in the atoms of dirt.

Mycorrhizae ( Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrizae ) or VAM.Improves the soaking up of phosphate, H2O and micronutrients.Beginning: Guide Agricole, AREU 2009.16.

0 Nitrogen arrested development by RhizobiaNitrogen arrested development by Rhizobia is really of import in agribusiness in many ways. Legumes such as peas, beans, lentils, soya beans, lucerne and trefoil have a important function to play in supplying nutrient for both meat-producing animate beings and worlds. Higher outputs are obtained in nodular workss. They can turn good and accomplish higher outputs despite turning in dirts where the construction is hapless. They besides provide fixed N for other types of workss. After crop, the roots of leguminous plants are left behind in the dirt to break up. This causes organic N compounds to be available for soaking up by workss in the following harvest rhythm.Farmers can deduce benefits from this natural fertilisation as there is less trust on man-made fertilisers.

This can be done by revolving a leguminous harvest with a non-leguminous 1. Another advantage of seting leguminous plants is that environmental issues such eutrophication of lakes and rivers are greatly reduced.Rhizobium is a genus of bacteriums that is a primary influence peddler of N in the dirt. Their manner of action is by infecting the roots of leguminous workss which consequences in the formation of balls or nodules. The nodules are really the site where N arrested development takes topographic point. The enzymatic system of the bacteriums provides a changeless supply of reduced N to the host works and the works provides foods and energy to the bacteria. By this procedure, 90 % of the leguminous plants can go nodular.


0 Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrizae ( VAM )

Mycorrizae is the interaction which exists between the fungus and the roots of a seed works. This type of association exists extensively in nature ( Harley 1983 ) . They are present in every systematic group of workss. They will tie in with any type of hosts as they lack host specificity. Mycorrizae besides promotes the development of the dirt environment. The function of Mycorrizae can be summarized as follows:1. Mobilization of works foods and H2O.2.

Greater of C watercourse flow in trees.3. Association with other groups of bugs.( Sylvia 1998 ) .

18.0 Soil Testing

It is normally agreed that 17 chemicals are of import for metamorphosis, growing, development and reproduction in higher workss. ( Epstein, 1965, 1972 ; Brown et al. , 1987 ; Marschner, 1995 )Soil testing is of import so as to acquire an indicant of the different foods available in the dirt.

It is necessary to better the dirt birthrate position to avoid any lacks of any needed elements in the dirt. This will guarantee an addition in harvest outputs. Soil proving comprises of the undermentioned constituents:Samples of dirt and workss to be prepared for analysisChemical extraction of samplesDetermination of the concentration of foods in the infusion.Analysis of the alimentary concentrations so as to measure dirt birthrateDerivation of disciplinary fertiliser applications.( Dahnkez and Olson, 1990 ; Munson and Nelson, 1990 ; Peck and Soltanpour, 1990 )Dirt analysis is defined as the chemical or physical trials which are carried out to find concentration of foods in the samples. Soil and works analysis informations is the footing on which fertiliser recommendations can be made. This is a critical constituent in dirt and works testing plans

19.0 Soil Analysis

Schofield ( 1955 ) identified that there are two alimentary fractions in the dirt: the measure demoing the sum of foods available in the dirt and the strength demoing the strength of alimentary keeping.

The measure shows the all the foods which are adsorbed in the dirt components. The strength shows the concentration of foods in the dirt solution. The strength and measure are connected by the buffering capacity of the dirt. The buffering capacity is a good index of the capacity of the dirt to retain a specific sum of foods in solution. The measure / strength attack is valid merely for foods like P and K ( Holford, 1991 ; Holford and Doyle, 1992 ; Evangelou, Wang, and Philips, 1994 ; Raven and Hossner, 1994 ) , but can non be applied for foods that are chiefly in organic signifiers or foods that are buffered by dirt components.