Intensive farming in the tropics could require huge phosphorus ‘tax’
From the Amazon to Africa, tropical regions are widely expected to play a growing role in supplying food to the world. With global population on the rise, many policy experts and conservationists see agricultural intensification as a winning strategy to produce more food per acre while sparing tropical forests from being converted to farmland. Just pour on the fertilizer. But a new analysis shows that if tropical farming intensifies, there could be a staggering cost: millions of tons of phosphorus ‘tax’ that must be paid to the soil.