The 1st National Expert Group Meeting on Soil and Nutrient Management that organized by Soil Resource Management and Conservation Division, Department of Agriculture was held in Malaysia on 12 March 2015 at Department of Agriculture, Putrajaya. National Members Expert from Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, University Putra Malaysia, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Malaysian Rubber Board and ESPEK Research and Advisory Services Sdn. Bhd. were invited to discuss the draft ASEAN Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management; roles of National Expert Group in developing guidelines and exchange information.
The meeting begun with a briefing by Ms. Wannipa Soda, representative from GIZ’s ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS) on scopes of the Soil and Nutrient Management which was finalized at the 2nd Regional Meeting of the ASEAN Expert Group in Singapore on 28-29 April 2015. The second presentation was delivered by Mr. Borhan Jantan, expert from Department of Agriculture of Malaysia. He described the outline of ASEAN Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management towards Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. National Members Expert later discussed the contents include:
Chapter 1: Properties and issues of soil in ASEAN
Chapter 2: Good soil management practices
Chapter 3: Good nutrient management practices
Chapter 4: Standard, regulations and market information of fertilizer and
Chapter 5: Recommendations for soil and nutrient management
Based on the differences among the ASEAN Member States, regional mechanism is required for cooperation and coordinating on soil and nutrient management at regional level. In dealing with the issues at regional level, there are needs for ASEAN to provide policy recommendations that support the implementation of effective and efficient approaches in managing soil and nutrient, along with other complementary measures in order to maintain and increase crop productivity, whilst securing productive capacity of soils. This underlines the need for good cooperation among AMS to establish a regional working group to develop a set of recommendation on soil and nutrient management for the region. In response to the needs, ASEAN SAS has an initiative entitled “Development of Regional Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management” in 2014.
The meeting also emphasized the importance of soil and nutrient management through diverse farming approaches to promote the sustainable agriculture. Relevant concern and issues had also been discussed and taken into consideration on Soil Quality Standard and how to manage the good soil to sustained the soil including mangrove area.
The recommendations and relevant activities of the National Expert Group will be updated to Regional Expert Group for development of ASEAN Soil and Nutrient Management Guidelines.
Supported by ASEAN SAS, it is expected that ASEAN Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management will provide regionally coordinated guidance to facilitate decision makers in formulation of policy recommendations on soil and nutrient management that will promote sustainable agrifood systems in the region.