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Case studies on policies and strategies for sustainable soil fertility and fertilizer management in South Asia










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    Book (stand-alone)
    Improving plant nutrient management for better farmer livelihoods, food security and environmental sustainability
    Proceedings of a regional workshop
    2006
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    Agricultural development in Asia-Pacific during the last decades has concentrated on two basic short-term objectives: improving crop yields and improving the incomes of small and resource poor farmers. In most instances, government policy-makers focused on providing support to proper and balanced plant nutrition. Fertilizers heavily favored Urea whose impact on the physical appearance of plants is easily recognizable by farmers. The net result was the excessive use of Urea which eventually cr eated an unfavorable imbalance of Nitrogen with Phosphorous and Potassium nutrients. This imbalance has been recognized as the emerging major culprit in the decline and stagnation of food crop production and the general decline in soil fertility and production capacity in practically all countries in Asia and the Pacific region. A case in point was cited by the experience in India which reported that, as food production increased with time, the number of elements becoming deficient in soils a nd crops also increased. Micronutrient deficiencies in soils over long periods of nutrient imbalance in intensively used croplands are also emerging as yield limiting factors. As a way to strengthen awareness and improve common understanding of the complex dynamics of sustainable crop production, soil nutrient management and soil stability, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific conducted a regional workshop from 12 to 16 December 2005 in Beijing, China on improving plant nutrient m anagement for better farmer livelihoods, food security and environmental sustainability. Participants from 17 countries in the region discussed and identified country-relevant issues and exchanged ideas and recommendations to collectively formulate technical and policy measures on developing both country and region options for making integrated plant nutrient management the alternative technology for sustainable crop production and soil fertility management. It is hoped that this will enhance the capacity of farmers to use organic and inorganic fertilizers safely and help protect the regions' soil resources. The report contains recommendations, conclusions and country papers.
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    Project
    Support to the Promotion of Conservation Agriculture and Integrated Pest Management for Sustained Soil Fertility and Productivity - TCP/GHA/3701 2023
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    The degradation of soils, which are the foundation of agrifood systems, is alarming in sub Saharan Africa, which is already facing continued population growth that increases pressure on scarce natural resources Soil in Ghana is becoming low in nutrients, fragile and exposed to adverse natural and environmental pressures In addition, unsustainable farming systems on marginal lands and the overuse of chemical fertilizers and misuse of pesticides have led to declining soil fertility and contamination of the natural environment, rendering soils unproductive and negatively affecting livelihoods Smallholder agriculture, especially in the northern part of the country, is characterized by natural production with low access to productive assets, information and technical skills, low level of implementation of modern technologies and mechanization, small farm sizes, lack of productive infrastructures and rural finance institutions Moreover, subsistence farmers are the most exposed to climate change and price volatility Conservation Agriculture ( has proven to be a viable approach that contributes to improved and sustainable productivity, environmental protection and climate change adaptation It aims to improve soil productivity and conservation and includes practices that combine integrated management of soil, water and agricultural resources to boost food production Despite the potential benefits, implementation of CA, Integrated Pest Management ( and other Climate Smart Agriculture ( practices by smallholders remains low Previous experience with these types of interventions in Ghana showed a lack of evidence based interventions, know how on appropriate technologies to use and access to appropriate and locally designed tools and affordable equipment Smallholder households were identified as slow adopters of CA There is also the need to introduce the benefits of IPM to farmers to minimize the use of chemicals in foods As such, this project aimed to improve production systems and strengthen resilient livelihoods by using a climate smart approach as well as dealing with issues affecting agriculture management of natural resources The project targeted smallholder food crop farm families who are the most vulnerable with limited access to markets and credit The issues to be addressed were the degradation of natural resources due to inappropriate farming practices and population growth, improper use of agrochemicals in farming, a lack of organizational capacity to deal with climate change impacts at the community leveI inadequate access to resources and negligible or no access to information on good agricultural practices and climate change impacts.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Fertilizer use by crop in Cuba 2003
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    In this study the agro-ecological structure and the areas, yields and fertilization of the individual crops in Cuba are examined. All Cuba’s fertilizer requirements are imported and the quantities available are limited. The use of fertilizers fell by 80 percent during the 1990s and the present level is insufficient to maintain yields and soil fertility. In order to alleviate the situation the Government gives priority to certain key crops such as sugar cane because of its economic importance and potatoes as a key food crop. The use of plant nutrients from organic sources is encouraged. The use of biofertilizers has been tried but only nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium has maintained its position.

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