Tuesday, December 5 is World Soil Day, a day set aside by the United Nations http://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/about-world-soil-day/en/; to acknowledge the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.
An international day to celebrate Soil was recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002. Under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand and within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership, FAO has supported the formal establishment of WSD as a global awareness raising platform. The FAO Conference unanimously endorsed World Soil Day in June 2013 and requested its official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. In December 2013 the UN General Assembly responded by designating 5 December 2014 as the first official World Soil Day.
AgriProFocus Ethiopia, in partnership with various governmental and non-governmental organizations, organized "Et... Read more
Gali Management and Development Consultants Limited would like to celebrate with you World Soil Day tomorrow 5th December.
A fertiliser recommendation serves to provide the land-user, who is most often a farmer, with advice on how best to manage the fertility, i.e. the productive capacity, of his or her land. Putting it like this, it seems like a remarkably simple exercise. Then why is there so much fuss about it? After nearly 20 years of research in soil fertility and nutrient management I came to some conclusions...
The key is in the application of the fertilisers, not in the fertilisers themselves
Let’s first get into the fuss... fertiliser recommendations typically address mineral fertilisers that is those fertilisers that originate from mines (P and K) or from air (N). There are some terrible stories of what can happen when mineral fertilisers are used in the wrong way…
In 2015 the report ‘A Soiled Reputation’ on the adverse impact of mineral fertilisers in (tropical) agriculture was published. It fueled the (sometimes fierce
Learn all about compost from experts and practitioners. Practically make a compost heap and build your own vermicompost box! Organized by AAU EIABC Landscape Architecture Department in collaboration with Boku and Hamburg Consult. To register to participate, please fill online registration form available via this LINK developed by AgriProFocus.
UPDATE: The PowerPoint Presentations from this workshop are now available upon request by emailing email@example.com.
26th October 2017
For the agroecology platform facilitated by AgriProFocus, Dr George Deichert from GIZ SLM made a presentation differentiating between Agroecology, CSA, Sustainable Agriculture, Organic Agriculture, Modern Agriculture and other forms of agriculture. He focused on CSA and outlined a framework for rating the degree to which activities can be considered climate smart.
CSA (like agroecology) is defined as more based on principles rather than directive recommendations as per Conventional and Modern Agriculture. The three CSA pillars are adaptation, mitigation and production. GIZ developed guidelines to assess the degree of climate smartness of activities by scoring a range of economic and environmental parameters. It is important to note that sometimes production is weighted so heavily that activities termed as “climate smart” may not actually have true adaptation aspect: increase in productivity (a... Read more
The importance of soil fertility for agriculture was one of the first realizations that hit farmers at the start of the Agricultural revolution back in the 18th century. Slowly, they realized that good quality soil is essential for high yield, and sufficient production to sustain families, villages, and entire societies.
The difference between types of soils, and variation in soil properties became apparent- soil moisture, soil texture and of course soil chemistry determined what crops can grow in particular regions, and how much yield the fields will produce.
However, something that was not very known at that time is that soils are a precious resource, which is easily exhausted. Continuous mismanagement and exploitation due to lack of knowledge, led to poor soil fertility, loss of soil and as a result, drastic decrease in agricultural production. It became clear to most specialists, that core of th... Read more
SoilCares technology helps farmers to better understand their soil.
The farm of Dirk Swart is located near St. Annaparochie in the North of the Netherlands. On this 60 hectare area of land, Dirk Swart is growing potatoes, sugar beets, onions, corn and wheat. He participated with one of his fields in a pilot project set up by HLB, a partner of SoilCares and George Pars Graanhandel B.V. (Pars). A number of soil samples from his field were analysed in the Lab-in-a-Box (LiaB). This is a sensor lab developed by SoilCares that allows fast and cost-effective soil analyses. Thanks to his participation in this pilot project, he now knows exactly what the soil fertility variation is on his field. He also has more insights in the results of his efforts to improve the soil.
About the Sustainable Development Goals
The concept of sustainable world was first formed in 1987 when the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development released the report Our Common Future. Sustainable development was then defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. However, it has been unclear how to make this idea operational. The acceptance of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 was a crucial step because it translated the idea of sustainability into 17 concrete, measurable goals covering every aspect of life. The 17 Global Goals comprise 169 targets that aim to transform our world by 2030.
SoilCares sprak met professor Johan Bouma, een gepensioneerde Nederlandse bodemwetenschapper die onder andere werkte bij de Wageningen University en het Research Center. Hij vertelt ons meer over het belang van de bodem bij het creëren van een duurzame wereld en hij laat ons zien waarom hij denkt dat SoilCares-technologie waarde toevoegt aan de landbouw.
Professor Bouma, kunt u wat meer vertellen over het belang van de bodem bij het creëren van een duurzamere wereld?
Johan Bouma: "Het concept van een duurzame wereld werd in 1987 voor het eerst in het Brundtland-rapport geformuleerd. Dit werd in september 2015 door de VN geconcretiseerd in 17 duurzame ontwikkelingsdoelstellingen (SDG's). Ik ben van mening dat dit een heel belangrijk moment was. Voor het eerst werd duurzaamheid vertaald in 17 concrete doelen die elk aspect van het leven bestrijken. De bodem speelt hierbij een hele belangrijke rol. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan voe... Read more
SoilCares interviewed professor Johan Bouma, a renowned soil scientist, about the importance of soil in creating a sustainable world and how SoilCares can contribute to it.
SoilCares talks about the importance of soil in creating a sustainable world with retired Professor Johan Bouma, a Dutch soil scientists with vast experience working for Wageningen University and Research Centre. He shares his views on soil’s role in attaining the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and how SoilCares can relate to this and contribute to making the world more sustainable.
Professor Bouma, can you elaborate on the importance of soil in creating a more sustainable world?
Johan Bouma: "The concept of a sustainable world was first articulated in 1987 in the Brundtland Report. Nobody is against a sustainable world, of course, but in the past it was difficult to make it clear what a sustainable world really would entail and how to make it operational. I think the acceptance
Need help with taking care of your soil, here is your solution!
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Soilcare provide solution on how to manage your soil fertility, soil testing and know what inputs to produce. Also by putting knowledge in the hands of farmers and give them access to the knowledge from the experts. Through softwares they provide update about practical information of soil to farmers, the one thing you need to do is visit their website and learn more as instructed below.
Read more about soilcare and get the answer to all your soil problems.
We just learned that Prof. Tekalign Mamo passed away. It is a very sad news to bring to all members and partners of AgriProFocus Ethiopia. On behalf of our members and partners, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Here is a short profile of extracted from FAO:
... Read moreProf. Tekalign Mamo, a 1985 graduate in soil chemistry and fertility from Aberdeen University in Scotland, bears many mantles of a successful researcher, academician and leader. Prior to his current role as State Minister and Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture, he has served as Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture (2005-2010), State Minister of Agriculture (2004-2005), Vice President of Haramaya University (2004), and senior researcher and Director of research (1985-1999).
He has published over 75 scientific papers and book chapt
Article by Keesstra, S. D., Bouma, J., Wallinga, J., Tittonell, P., Smith, P., Cerdà, A., Montanarella, L., Quinton, J. N., Pachepsky, Y., van der Putten, W. H., Bardgett, R. D., Moolenaar, S., Mol, G., Jansen, B., and Fresco, L. O. Published 2016
This article was quoted today, at the start of the start of the Wageningen Soil Conference 2017, see blog post by chair Jacob Wallinga through this link:
Abstract. In this forum paper we discuss how soil scientists can help to reach the recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the most effective manner. Soil science, as a land-related discipline, has important links to several of the SDGs, which are demonstrated through the functions of soils and the ecosystem services that are linked to those functions (see graphical abst... Read more
The University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography would like to engage directly with local businesses, individuals and public institutes in Tanzania, and in particular the Kilimanjaro region, around the broad theme of agricultural and environmental management.
The objective of this 1-day workshop is to initiate an exchange of knowledge on experiences in agricultural practices and environmental management in order to explore innovations for enhancing food production whilst preserving soil and water resources. Specific areas to explore are:
1) Pesticide and fertiliser application, transport within the soil and diffuse pollution of surface water
2) Nutrient quantification and diffuse pollution monitoring technologies
3) Soil physical structure and soil health under different tillage and management practices
4) Soil amendments
These areas are at the core of the University’s expertise focused around the themes of soil health, sediment dynamics and erosion, pl... Read more
This quarter AgriProFocus facilitated two sustainable value chain workshops in Ethiopia: one on mapping soil fertility value chains for the Fertile Grounds Initiative held in Ziway, and one on mapping tree seedling value chains for GiZ at Menagasha. Members of the AgriProFocus Youth in Agribusiness Platform had the opportunity to participate in both workshops.
The interactive value chain mapping technique described in the AgriProFocus Gender in Value Chains Toolkits was used in both instances; workshop participants were supported to identify social, economic and environmental constraints and opportunities to the core and extended value chain of specific agricultural products (highland tree seedlings, lowland tree seedlings, compost, biochar, vermicompost, biofertilizer, and green manure seed).
Feedback from the tree seedling value chain workshop was very positive, feedback from the soil fertility works... Read more
In Konso, communities have been terracing for over 600 years. The steep hillsides of Konso are sculpted by generations of human hands that have carefully laid stones in line with the natural horizontal contours designed to catch and keep the soil and water necessary for viable hilltop agriculture. Agroforestry has been combined with other forms of intercropping to keep the terraces in-tact, the soils fertile, and diversified nutrition available year round: For example, perennials like cassava are planted at the top of the stone terraces to support the terrace structure with their roots; in the cups of soil between terrace walls, crops such as beans, maize and sorghum are planted amongst one another; trees such as coffee, moringa, acacia, and terminalia are interspersed at greater distance along the terraces.
In addition to formation of terraces, various other water management techniques are actively used. To catch and sink runoff, circul... Read more
The Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility is a grant programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It falls under the policy priority of food security, which focuses on increasing and enhancing sustainable food production as well as achieving more efficient agricultural water use, particularly in irrigated areas and water basins in the G4AW partner countries.
Administrative rules have been published in the Dutch Government Gazette (Staatscourant No. 13493, March 17, 2017)
The available budget for the G4AW call of 2017-2018 is 19.8 million euro.
Requests for an advisory opinion can be submitted from 15 April to 15 June 2017.
Applications may be submitted until 15:00 CET on 14 September 2017. If the application is submitted less than two weeks before the deadline of 14 September 2017, the applicant runs the risk that, if it is incomplete, the Minister will not use his or her discretionary powers to... Read more
Annual conference of the Ethiopian Society of Soil Science. Event open to old and first-time dues paying members.
Agriculture evolved and continues to evolve on the basis of man deliberately modifying nature to feed and economically sustain himself.
Modification of nature started with such benign acts such as planting seeds instead of waiting for natural seed dispersal and use of irrigation instead of relying on rain fed farming.
Against an increasing human population and diminishing natural resources, science has stepped in to advance modifications of nature with examples such as plant breeding instead of waiting for the Darwinian natural selection – which would eventually happen, only that it would take a very long time.
Other easy to identify modifications of nature are the use of green houses, intensive livestock feeding e.g. zero-grazing.
However, modification of nature without appropriate counter balances and safe guards can be a limiting factor in the advancement of agriculture. For example, while zero-grazing allows farmers to kee... Read more