Writer: ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems Lao PDR Team
Lao national expert group exchanged good practices on soil and nutrient management as a contribution to the development of the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management (ASEAN Regional GLs on SNM) at the 3rd National Expert Group Meeting on Soil and Nutrient Management conducted on 24 March 2016 at the Agriculture Land and Nutrient Management Center in Vientiane.
Based on the differences among the ASEAN Member States (AMS), the Regional Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management is needed for regionally coordinated guidance to facilitate decision makers in formulation of policy recommendations on soil and nutrient management in promoting sustainable agrifood systems at national and regional levels. In achieving this, consultation meetings at regional and national levels supported by ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems have been conducting regularly since 2014 to discuss concerned problems and recommendations, and exchange information and lesson learnt on implementation of management practices on soil and nutrient.
The recent national meeting dedicated for discussion on improvement of the content of country inputs as a result from the 3rd regional meeting of ASEAN Expert Group organised in Lao PDR. At the national meeting Lao experts focused the discussion on Chapter 2 of good soil management practice and Chapter 3 of good nutrient management practice. This one day meeting mainly emphasized on soil problems and their management practices. The experts were grouped based on the discussed topics: the first group of experts worked on good soil management practices; whereas the second group dealt with good nutrient management practices.
On the good soil management practices, the experts discussed how to find the best solutions for soil acidity, soil alkalinity, slopping land, sandy soil, rice irrigation and soil structure improvement. In particular, the expert group concentrated on rain water management, upland rice and land preparation.
Regarding the good nutrient management practices, the key points of discussion included types and resources of soil nutrient management, current priority crop and fertilizer recommendation, integrated plant nutrient management, practical soil testing technique, specific nutrient indicators for farming and innovative nutrient management technology.
These key outcomes from the Lao meeting would be contributed to the 4th ASEAN Expert Meeting on Soil and Nutrient Management to be conducted between 11 and 12 May 2016 in Brunei Darussalam.
The development of ASEAN Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management are facilitated by ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems.