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Expert group meeting on soil, nutrition management launched
on: May 12, 2016
|     Nuri Sufri     |

THE fourth meeting of the Asean Soil and Nutrient Management Experts Group for the Asean Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management (SNM) will discuss the third draft pertaining to the rehabilitation of the productive capacity of soil for crop production.
The two-day closed door meeting was launched yesterday at the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.

Wannipa Soda, Regional Coordinator of German International Cooperation (GIZ) for Asean Sustainable Agrifood Systems (Asean-SAS), Bangkok, Thailand, serves as the facilitator of the meeting being attended by experts from Asean member states.
The meeting was officiated by Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, along with senior officers from the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.

In his opening remarks, Dr Haji Abdul Manaf said that “current land use practices together with harsh climate conditions and population pressure have led to soil degradation, loss of soil fertility, declining crop yields and malnutrition, and subsequent declining in livelihood.”



Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, in a group photo. – BAHYIAH BAKIR

“Enhancing the productivity of food crops is unlikely to be achieved without ensuring an adequate and balanced supply of nutrients,” he added.

The permanent secretary noted that implementing proper management practices and conservation of soil by Asean member states will improve the sustainability of agriculture and food production in the region.

According to the permanent secretary, recent developments including this initiative launched in 2014 on the ‘Development of Regional Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management’, seek to underline the importance of regional cooperation among Asean member states by establishing a regional working group that will enable coordinated guidance to facilitate the formulation of policies that will promote sustainable agriculture, crop production and soil health, as well provide recommendations on soil and nutrient management in the region.
The meeting aims to cover issues pertaining to soil in Asean member states; nutrient management practices in farming activities; standard, regulations and market information of fertiliser and supplements; soil pollution and recommendation for soil and nutrient management to maintain and increase crop productivity; and securing productive capacity of soils to sustain agriculture production.

(Borneo Bulletin) 
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