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Phosphorus for Sustainable Development Goal target of doubling smallholder productivity

C. Langhans, A. H. W. Beusen, J. M. Mogollón and A. F. Bouwman ()
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C. Langhans: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
A. H. W. Beusen: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
J. M. Mogollón: University of Leiden
A. F. Bouwman: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Nature Sustainability, 2022, vol. 5, issue 1, 57-63

Abstract: Abstract Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for life. In many tropical countries, P-fixing soils and very low historical P input limit uptake of P in crops and thus yields. This presents a serious obstacle for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 2.3 of doubling productivity in smallholder farms. We calculated the geographic distribution of P limitation (1 – actual/potential P uptake) and the P input required to achieve this SDG target by 2030 in comparison to the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP2) scenario for five world regions where smallholder farms dominate. To achieve target 2.3, these regions require 39% more P application (126 Tg) between 2015 and 2030. While P limitation is most widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, it is the only region on track to achieving the doubling of productivity in the SSP2 scenario (increase by a factor of 1.8). Achieving the target requires a strong increase in P input, while protecting soils and waterways from excessive P runoff.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1038/s41893-021-00794-4

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