Esin Mete is a chemical engineer by profession, holding a BSc from Bosphorus University, and a problem-solver by vocation. She led the effort to produce zinc-enhanced NPK fertilizers, thus pioneering micronutrient fertilization in Turkey, her home country. A vocal advocate for food and nutrition security, Ms Mete strongly believes in the role of extension services and initiated agronomic training programs dedicated to women farmers in Turkey.
One way my sector can help is to better understand the potential roles that fertilizers can play to tackle hunger and malnutrition. Evidence shows micronutrient fortification of fertilizers – that’s adding selenium, zinc or iodine to the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium usually present – can offer promising results, and not only in the developing world but in the developed world as well.
In my home country of Turkey, a zinc fertilization programme on wheat in the Central Anatolian region resulted in as much as a 500% increase in crop yield, lifting economic returns by around $150M per year). The application of zinc fertilizers in Turkey also led to the eradication of zinc deficiency among local people. Since crops were able to absorb zinc from the soil, they also had more bioavailability of zinc for the humans who consumed them.title