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Yara: master of the agro-industry through synthetic fertilizers

Pesticides are made to kill pests, fertilizers are made to feed the plants. They accelerate processes that exist naturally to bring to plants the nutrients and minerals they need. Let’s introduce you to the synthetic fertilizers used in the current agro-industrial system.

Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers are the most widely used synthetic fertilizers, representing more than half of them, and are manufactured industrially to provide plants with nitrogen. Nitrogen fertilizers (a.k.a. artificial, chemical, inorganic or fossil fertilizers) are derived from ammonia, which itself is chemically produced by mixing nitrogen from the air with hydrogen.

It was only in the 1960s when synthetic fertilizers started being used that the agricultural system of monocultures started. Initially celebrated as a miracle product allowing to feed an ever-growing population, today it becomes increasingly evident that the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers is not exactly the success story it is often portrayed as.

Yara International is a Norwegian multinational company that has become the world’s second largest producer of fossil fertilizers. With operations in more than 60 countries, it dominates the fertilizer industry sector and its products are applied to the soil in agricultural fields in every continent of the world. Yara is not the exemplary, green company that it pretends to be, it is one of the masters of the agro-industry today, using its influence to shape the international agricultural agenda.



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Yara at a glance | Yara International. (2022). (webpage) (accessed 20-05-24)

CW (2019). Yara: the fertiliser giant causing climate catastrophe. Corporate Watch. (article)