Writer: Wannipa Soda, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems
The 1st National Expert Group Meeting on Soil and Nutrient Management (SNM) was convened on 8th June 2015 for 3 days at Directorate office of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Ministry of Industry and primary Resources. The Meeting provided face-to-face dialogue among the resource persons to discuss problems and recommendations, to exchange information, share experience and lessons learnt on the management of soil nutrient in promoting sustainable agriculture and food system at national level.
This effort was to provide information and inputs to the ASEAN Expert Group on SNM to develop the ASEAN Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management. The scope of the guidelines includes: General property of soils in ASEAN, Soil problems, good soil nutrient and crop management practices, fertilizer regulations and standards, soil pollution and other issues. This initiative is part of the ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (SAS) project supported by German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ in collaboration with ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat.
During the Meeting, brief presentation about the project and ASEAN Guidelines based on outcomes from the 1st and 2nd Regional Meeting of ASEAN Expert Group were made by a representative from GIZ – ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS), Bangkok. Besides, presentation was also made by officers and resource persons from the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood on soils and various issues like potential acid sulfate soils, soil erosion and on-going activities on soil nutrient management in the country.
Subsequently, discussions were made on good soil management practices, constraints in soil fertility, existing
regulations, standards and market information on fertilizers. During the Meeting, progressive farmers and fertilizer dealers were also participated and exchanged their views with suggestions in formulating national soil and nutrient management plan. The project period is for four years started from 2014 and end by 2017.
The progress of the recommendations of the national expert group will be updated to regional expert group from time to time to facilitate in developing the ASEAN Guidelines. The relevant activities as per their mandate will also be implemented during the project period.
Senior and relevant officers from the department were also attended during the meeting and shared their experiences on soils from crop production perspective.