Climate change is pushing our food and farming systems to their limits. By 2050, 9.7 billion mouths must be fed, while rising temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events threaten crop production worldwide. This free webinar will showcase concrete solutions to climate change adaptation and mitigation that the fertilizer industry and its partners are investing in, to help farmers become “climate-smart” and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. The International Fertilizer Association (IFA), International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) will bring together leading experts in soil health and management from across the globe to discuss the latest innovations in their region that are already contributing to the global response to food insecurity and climate change.
Scott Angle, CEO and President, International Fertilizer Development Centre
Robert Norton, Regional Director for Australia and New Zealand, International Plant Nutrition Institute
Shamie Zingore, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa Programme, International Plant Nutrition Institute
Heitor Cantarella, Director, Soil and Environment Resource Centre at the Agronomic Institute of Campinas and winner of IFA 2017 Norman Borlaug Award.
Join the panel of experts to explore the following issues:
How can farmers build resilience to unpredictable weather patterns through fertilizer best management practices?
Which innovative fertilizer solutions are successfully helping farmers adapt to climate change in Australasia?
How can farmers in sub-Saharan Africa access accurate fertilizer recommendations?
What are the latest solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizers in the tropics?
A high-level panel debate assessing Africa’s progress in increasing fertilizer use, 10 years on from the landmark African Fertilizer Summit. The panel will review the success of the historic Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for an African Green Revolution and discuss how to drive greater and faster progress in addressing nutrient deficiencies in African soils, in order to support economic growth, social development and climate change responses. Read more >>
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In this latest instalment of our “Supporter Spotlight” series, we take a trip to Asia to learn about the innovative projects Farming First supporters are working on all over the continent to improve food security and farmers’ lives.
1. Fintrac: Beating Drought with Smart Water Management in Cambodia
When the rains did not come in 2015, one group of farmers in the northeastern province of Pursat not only survived, but thrived. They had banded together to form a Water User Group, that managed farmer access to the Polyum Canal. By maximising efficiency and eliminating conflict around water use, and using good agricultural practices taught by the Cambodia HARVEST program, group members have increased their productivity from an average of 2,500 kilograms per hectare to more than 4,000. As a result, their household incomes have increased by 536 percent! Read more >>
2. GAIN: Meet the Wheatamix Women in India
Through funding from the Bestseller Foundation, GAIN is working in the states of Karnataka and Bihar in India to improve the nutrition and lives of groups of semi-literate women. These women are trained to run their own factories producing a quality blended complementary food product called ”Wheatamix” in Bihar and “Shakhti Vita” in Karnataka. This complementary food product, fortified with vitamins and minerals, has the potential to reach thousands of women, adolescents and children in the region. Read more >>
3. CropLife: An Indian Farmer Perspective on Biotechnology
In this interview with CropLife International, Balwinder Singh shares his experience of planting an insect-resistant strain of cotton. “I was lucky to be part of the trial when Bt cotton came to India, and when I saw the benefits of this technology; I was the first person to say, this is what is going to save us,” he said. “I took a gamble, and took an additional 50 hectares of land on lease to sow Bt cotton. It has paid off and my family is enjoying a decent living.” Read more >>
4. IPNI: Healthier Soils Make Indian Farmers More Maize
Access to water has created a challenge for many Indian farmers, increasing interest in alternative crops to flooded rice. Working in West Bengal, research staff at the International Plant Nutrition Institute have focused on developing a rice-maize rotation as an alternative to rice to address the water challenge. Research showed that adding potassium, phosphorus, sulphur and zinc in order to grow maize effectively added US$80 – $290/ha to the farmer’s income. Not only was the maize yield increased, but similar responses were recorded in the rice in these on-farm trials. Read more >>
5. CNFA: Building a Network for Agro-Input Services in Bangladesh
CNFA implements the USAID-funded Agro-Inputs Project (AIP) to improve the knowledge of and access to quality agricultural inputs for farmers in Bangladesh. CNFA provides trainings and technical assistance on business management and ethics, basic agronomics, safe use and handling of pesticides and other related topics to 3,000 agro-input retailers. Of this, 300 women-retailers are specifically targeted. These agro-input retailers are expected to serve 1 million smallholder farmers, impacting more than 5 million individuals across 20 southern districts of Bangladesh, generating more than $100 million in sales. Read more >>
6. Livelihoods: Mangroves Restore Agricultural Land in Indonesia
In 1987, Northern Sumatra had 200,000 hectares of mangroves. Today, less than half of that amount remains, with only 83,000 hectares standing. This Livelihoods project has restored mangrove forests, and as a result, increases the safety of the local population. Replanting coastal mangroves significantly buffers coastal communities from future tsunamis akin to that of the 2004 tsunami. Mangrove forests also help to restore vital agricultural land. Additionally, this project generates new sources of economic income. Local villagers are able to increase their revenues by selling the by-products of the mangroves such as fish, mollusks, batik dye and honey. Read more >>
7. HarvestPlus: Iron Pearl Millet Enriches Diets in India
Iron deficiency is rampant in India, affecting 7 out of 10 children. It impairs mental development and learning capacity, increases weakness and fatigue, and may increase the risk of women dying during childbirth. HarvestPlus is working with partners to promote varieties of pearl millet rich in iron, to help combat malnutrition. Read more >>
8. iDE: Saving Time and Earning Money Through Water Access in Nepal
Rural villages in Nepal lack several basic services, but the primary issue for many is access to water. Multiple-Use Water Systems (MUS) are an improved approach to water resource management, which taps and stores water and distributes it to households in small communities to meet both domestic and household agricultural needs. In addition to dramatically decreasing the workload of women and girls, MUSs provide benefits in health and sanitation, as well as enabling communities to improve their decisions on the allocation of water resources. “After we got the water it was easy to grow vegetables,” says Kamala Pariyar, a rural farmer in Dikurpokhari. “I used to ask my husband for money to buy basic things. Now, by selling the vegetables, I can earn 600 rupees a day. I have enough money.” Read more >>
9. World Vision: Mangrove Planting Revitalizes Philippine Fishing Community
When a fishing village in the western part of Leyte in the Philippines was struggling to catch enough to feed their families, World Vision helped to implement a mangrove planting initiative. Each family was provided with an average of 1,000 mangrove stalks to plant in the area near their house, to provide a safe habitat of various species of fish, where they can lay their eggs without being disturbed by double net fishing. There is now abundant fish for catching once more, and the community is protected from the risk of typhoons. Read more >>
10. IFA: Combatting Iodine Deficiencies Through Fertigation
Globally it is estimated that 2.2 billion people in the world are at a risk of iodine deficiency, which causes a wide range of physiological abnormalities, mainly related to defective mental development and brain damage. The content of iodine in food depends on the iodine content of the soils in which crops are grown. In Xinjiang Province, in the North West of China, the soil is particularly poor in iodine with an associated high infant-mortality rate. A project was put in place to supply the water irrigation system with iodine using an iodine fertilizer dripping technique, called fertigation. With this technique, the iodine from the treated water is absorbed by the soil and progresses through plants, animals and humans that eat the iodine-rich plants. Thanks to this project, rates of infant mortality halved and local livestock production increased by 40% in the first year! Read more >>
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A brand new handbook detailing the best ways to effectively manage nutrients on farms has been released, in an effort to help farmers achieve the triple win of boosting productivity, achieving resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Join the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) and experts online for an interactive webinar on the findings of the Nutrient Management Handbook and the latest on soil health guidance.
Patrick Heffer, Director of Agriculture, IFA (International Fertilizer Association)
Adrian Johnston, Former Vice President, Africa & Asia, IPNI (International Plant Nutrition Institute)
Max Schulman, Finish Farmer of cereals and oilseeds, and Representative of the Cereals Working party of CopaCogeca, Europe
Alan Madison, Madison Farm on Soybeans and Corn, Illinois, USA
Join the expert panel to discuss critical questions such as:
Which nutrients are essential for plant growth?
Are organic, or mineral fertilizers more effective?
What are the challenges of nutrient management, and how can they be tackled?
How to implement best management practices ?
How can I use fertilizer in a way that will make my farm “climate-smart”?
The 8th annual Argus FMB Africa Fertilizer conference will feature more than 450 participants from 55 countries. A cross-section of stakeholders including government leaders, finance providers, NGOs, regional distributors and global producers with gather at the event, organised with the support of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), IFDC, Africafertilizer.org and AFAP. Read more >>
In the aftermath of Rio+20, and bearing the legacy of the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals aim to generate a multidimensional approach for our global future. This new set of goals has the challenging mission to guide policy-makers, private industry, NGOs, national and regional governments in the measures they devise in the upcoming years; measures that are aimed at bringing about a healthier world, one in which wealth and resources are equitably distributed both between countries and within them, while environmental security and biodiversity are safeguarded.
Public engagement is unprecedented. The response to calls for submitting proposals, providing research and voicing concerns has been immense, aided by social media and modern communication platforms. All this commotion is an encouraging sign. A testament to the collective efforts which everyone – big and small, rich and poor – is making towards an overarching goal: a better and more sustainable future.
I believe that the new goals ought to be aspirational, ambitious, yet realistic. They should inspire all actors to find innovative ways of leading to their accomplishment, while allowing for the achievement of intermediary goals, which constitute check points along the steps to the top of the pyramid. Bearing this in mind, the Farming First coalition is working actively to make sure that agriculture remains at the top of the agenda and proposes two goals relating to agriculture and food security.
The first one is to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by 2025, because it can be done in our lifetime and because the realisation of this goal would have immense repercussions on most other goals aiming at overall economic development. Farmers and rural dwellers tend to make up the poorest fringes of the population worldwide, while at the same time producing the food we eat. By bringing farmers out of poverty we can achieve goals relating to gender equality, education, health, economic opportunities. The Farming First coalition and the fertilizer industry support the Zero Hunger Challenge, which advocates access to food all year round, eliminating stunted growth in children through improving the nutrient quality of food, sustainability across all food systems, increase in smallholder productivity and income and zero food waste or loss.
The second goal we propose is the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, to plan for the agriculture of the future by raising agricultural productivity while protecting the environment. Countries and farmers will transition to more sustainable practices if their specific circumstances and needs are considered by policy-makers. Special attention should be given to women and to indigenous groups. The Farming First coalition and the fertilizer industry support the concept of sustainable intensification: producing more food per unit of land, while preserving or even enhancing soil quality, using less water and adopting integrated measures to reduce crop deterioration. The solutions will differ by region and by landscape to address the diversity of agricultural systems, farming practices and technologies, as well as benchmarks for balanced diets. In this context, such a transition to sustainable intensification cannot happen if we do not close the efficiency gap between farmers in the developing and the developed countries. Access to quality inputs and the knowledge to use them are essential to close this gap.
Gulf Petrochemicals Industries Co. employees are trained to provide them with skills, competencies and empowerment for their continuous improvement in health, safety and environmental best practices.
As a private sector representative, I can confidently state that returns on investment in sustainability are high and readily quantifiable. They translate into better resource allocation, a lower incidence of accidents and greater overall performance. My company, Gulf Petrochemicals Industries Co. (GPIC) has invested in its employees, its surrounding communities and its natural environment. Ever since becoming President of the company, I have been advocating tirelessly for the adoption of a culture of safety, health and environmental awareness. This is sustained by training our employees and providing them with skills, competencies and empowerment to continuously improve, as they are the key to the success in implanting HSE best practices. As a result, our production site now hosts; a fish farm where 100,000 sea bream fish are released into the deep sea annually to enrich marine life, a bird sanctuary which hosts over 30,000 birds with a record of 78 different species, and a number of gardens specifically made to plant rare indigenous, aromatic and desert plants to form a case study for educating school students on environmental natural presentation.
On-site gardens at Gulf Petrochemicals Industries Co., hosting rare indigenous, aromatic and desert plants to form a case study for educating school students on environmental natural presentation.
On-site fish farm at Gulf Petrochemicals Industries Co., hosting 100,000 sea bream fish that are released into the deep sea annually to enrich marine life.
On-site bird sanctuary at Gulf Petrochemicals Industries Co., hosting over 30,000 birds with a record of 78 different species.
We have worked extensively with UNEP to demonstrate that industrial development can be carried out in a manner that is respectful to both communities and the environment. In our commitment to mitigate climate change risks, we commissioned the first carbon dioxide recovery plant in the Middle East, in 2010. Our efforts at GPIC have not gone unnoticed. GPIC’s pioneer sustainable development program received recognition from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) UK, which awarded us the Sir George Earl Trophy. We are also one of only two organizations in the Arabian Gulf region to receive the accolade of the Robert Campbell Award from the US National Safety Council, for achievement in EHS. This not only honors us, it also motivates us to continue to strive to surpass our targets in sustainable development.
Both my professional experience and my personal commitment to sustainable development have strengthened my conviction that private sector involvement is imperative to improving the status quo. Therefore, in the words of UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, I urge all leaders in the corporate world “to deliver value not just financially – but also in social, environmental and ethical terms.”
Let’s not be limited by challenges and difficulties, but be motivated by possibilities!
About the author:
Mr. Abdulrahman A. Hussain JAWAHERY is a Farming First spokesperson. He is President of the Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co (GPIC) and Vice-President for Sustainable Development for the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA). Mr. Jawahery is actively involved in the post-2015 and SDG process on behalf of the fertilizer industry. His company, GPIC, is a Methanol, Ammonia and a Nitrogen Fertilizer manufacturer company based in Bahrain with an annual production of 1.5 million tons of Petrochemical and Fertilizer products to supply the world’s farmers. Mr. Jawahery is a Chartered Chemical Engineer with a BSc and an MSc from the UK. An acclaimed environmental champion, he holds numerous positions within renowned scientific and environmental organizations throughout the UK, US and Bahrain.