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The coming decades will see tremendous pressure on the world's ability to produce enough food for its growing population, making fertilizers ever more necessary. Fertilizer usage in Latin America - and Brazil especially - is forecast to grow faster than in the rest of the world. The region has large potential to expand farmland and will become increasingly important to global food supply. However, despite the positive longer-term demand outlook, the near-term market conditions are weak for mining projects focused on the major fertilizer minerals potash and phosphate. But despite financial difficulties, some projects are going ahead - on the one hand by large operators like Vale and on the other by juniors with projects suitable for starting small and in particular those with more manageable final products, like Verde Potash's thermo potash in Brazil or Focus Ventures' direct application phosphate rock in Peru. In Argentina, the lithium-potash projects of the altiplano salt flats also offer near-term promise.
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