IFDC at a Glance
IFDC was established in 1974 as a center of excellence with expertise in fertilizers to service the needs of developing countries. With a legal designation granted by Presidential Executive Order as a nonprofit public international organization, IFDC provides a broad range of services in technical assistance, research, training and problem-solving related to agricultural sustainability.
IFDC’s Mission: IFDC enables smallholder farmers in developing countries to increase agricultural productivity, generate economic growth and practice environmental stewardship by enhancing their ability to manage mineral and organic fertilizers responsibly and participate profitably in input and output markets.
IFDC’s Goal is to contribute to Millennium Development Goal 1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.
- Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day.
- Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
IFDC is governed by an international board of directors, composed of members from developed and developing countries. There have been many distinguished IFDC board members. Among them was the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Congressional Gold Medal winner Dr. Norman Borlaug, known as the "Father of the Green Revolution." Dr. Borlaug served on IFDC’s board of directors from 1994 to 2003. Dr. Amit Roy has been IFDC's president and chief executive officer since 1992.
Partners and Donors
IFDC collaborates with international agricultural research centers, numerous national and non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Funding sources include bilateral and multi-lateral development agencies, private enterprises and foundations. Additional revenue is generated from long-term, donor-funded, market development projects.
More About IFDC
- Headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, United States, with an office in Washington, D.C, United States, and offices across Africa and EurAsia.
- More than 100 multinational staff members in the United States.
- More than 700 international staff, working in more than 30 countries worldwide.
- Helped to refine and accelerate diffusion of fertilizer deep placement/urea deep placement (FDP/UDP) technology, which allows farmers to use less fertilizer (saving money), cuts nitrogen losses “in the field” by as much as 40 percent (reducing air and water pollution) and increases farmers’ yields by more than 20 percent. In Bangladesh, FDP and UDP are used on 12 percent of the total irrigated rice farmland. The technologies are also being used across southeast Asia and Africa.
- Contributed to the development of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM). ISFM is a key to increasing agricultural productivity while protecting the environment and maintaining (or even enhancing) the soil resource base. ISFM combines mineral fertilizers and locally available organic amendments (crop residues, compost and green manure) to replenish lost soil nutrients. This improves soil quality and the efficiency of agro-inputs. ISFM also promotes improved crop management practices, measures to control erosion and leaching and methods to improve soil organic matter maintenance. ISFM is increasingly being implemented across Asia and Africa (where it may increase crop yields two- to four-fold).
- Developed Competitive Agricultural Systems and Enterprises (CASE), combining ISFM and competitive commodity chains (the path goods travel from producer to consumer). CASE gives farmers the knowledge and tools needed to grow more and better crops, then link to profitable markets to sell their produce. CASE is based on agribusiness cluster formation and the strengthening of public and private institutions’ ability to enable agribusiness and trade.
- Conducted the “World Phosphate Rock Reserves and Resources” study, estimating that global resources of phosphate rock will be available for several hundred years.
- Leads agro-dealer development efforts on three continents. By helping these agro-dealers increase their professionalism, they can then advise their farmer-customers on best agricultural practices and the effective use of agro-inputs.
- Implements agro-input voucher programs in Africa and Asia. Vouchers help smallholder farmers obtain agro-inputs while simultaneously building business for rural agro-dealers. IFDC recommends vouchers over government programs that subsidize agro-inputs and disrupt/discourage private sector efforts. Vouchers are “smart subsidies” because they supply agro-inputs to farmers (generally at a lower cost to government) while encouraging the establishment/growth of commercial markets.
- Transfers knowledge/technology to millions of farmers in Africa and Eurasia through farm/field demonstrations and training in agricultural best practices, ISFM, CASE, etc.
- Conducts policy assessments, contributing to reforms to liberalize agro-input markets and generate increased private sector investment.
- Designs/implements emergency support programs (large-scale delivery of agro-inputs) to achieve improved food security and accelerate farmer income.
- Has conducted more than 1,600 pilot plant tests to improve product/process technologies, incorporated secondary and micronutrients into conventional fertilizers and used waste materials to manufacture fertilizers. Thousands of tests/trials have been conducted in IFDC labs and greenhouses on a range of fertilizer products to quantify/verify performance characteristics and assess product quality.
- Implemented the Africa Fertilizer Summit, held in Nigeria in 2006, working with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the African Union, the government of Nigeria, Rockefeller Foundation and others.
- Developed and maintains www.AfricaFertilizer.org, a global Internet forum to disseminate and exchange information on fertilizers, soil fertility and other critical agricultural issues facing Africa.
- Coordinates the Regional Agricultural Input Market Information & Transparency System (AMITSA – www.amitsa.org), an initiative of IFDC, the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. AMITSA provides market and technical information on agro-inputs in eastern and southern Africa.
Photo Caption and Credit:
Nyahara, Mozambique. Photo by Meg Ross