Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential element for living organisms.

Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential element for living organisms. It contributes considerably to crop and animal production and hence to food security. There are many organic and inorganic P compounds, ranging from available solution P to unavailable compounds. The replenishment of soil solution where plant takes P depends on the chemical and the physical soil properties, which affects the kinetic of exchange between the liquid and sol phases. Therefore, Phosphorus dynamic and its efficiency depends greatly on soil type, climate, fertilizer management and soil and crop managements. A mismanagement of the crop and soil may result in low efficiency, low crop response and erosion of particulate phosphate. To maximize economic return from P fertilizer while minimizing the impact on the environment, research should address the following challenges:

  • Development of tools for best P recommendations by integrating crop and pedo-climatic conditions (soil test calibration)
  • Development of procedures for estimating soil P availability through adapted methods in relation to soil type, climate and crop.
  • Increase P efficiency through equilibrated fertilization, application methods, form selection and application time.
  • Residual effect of P application on essential and other element build up
  • Search for soil and crop management best practices to improve P efficiency and reduce P runoff
  • Development of smart fertilizers and biofertilizers
  • Evaluation of direct application of rock phosphate

The phosphate byproducts management constitutes a big challenge for the industry. Increasingly considered as resources and not waste, these byproducts can be used as amendments, conditioners and fertilizers and can contribute significantly to the improvement of degraded soils especially saline and mined soils. In fact, soil salinity is worldwide concern and one millions hecatares are affected in Morocco. Furthermore, phosphate mining and processing result in land and ecological systems disturbances. The mining soils need to be reclaimed through human intervention. Research should focus on:

  • The effective and safe use of phophogypsum for saline soil reclamation.
  • The evaluation of phosphate byproduct as fertilizers
  • The best and durable rehabilitation practices for best plant growth conditions under degraded soils
  • The selection of phosphate by-products combinations to improve water efficiency and nutrient availability to improve mining soil rehabilitation,
  • The introduction of added value new species that can adapt to the harsh conditions of mining soil with low water storage capacity, low rainfall, high evapotranspiration and high temperature.
  • The environmental monitoring, integration, and education of end users, which are necessary for the success of rehabilitation.
  • The Development of activities for revenue generation to local communities.
  • The minimizing of environmental hazards and improvement of the esthetics and the wild life habitat