New Handbook Offers Soil Health Guidance for Farmers to Achieve Triple Win of Productivity, Resilience and Sustainability


Paris, France, 29 March 2017 – Experts publish best approaches for effective nutrient management in the face of climate change

A brand new handbook detailing the best ways to effectively manage nutrients on farms has been released, in an effort to help farmers achieve the triple win of boosting productivity, achieving resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The new 25-page manual is co-published by the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), the World Farmers Organization (WFO) and the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA). It analyses different methods of crop nutrition and provides farmers with useful and straightforward information on how to manage nutrients efficiently. The techniques have been proven to improve soil health in the face of climate change, while meeting Sustainable Development Goal two to end hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

The handbook answers critical questions such as:
  • Which nutrients are essential for plant growth?
  • Are organic or mineral fertilizers more effective?
  • What are the challenges of nutrient management, and how can they be tackled?
  • How does water interact with plant nutrients?
  • How can farmers apply the principles of integrated soil fertility management in a way that will lead to a “climate-smart agriculture”?
Best management practices (BMPs) for farmers and effective nutrient stewardship guiding principles are outlined as central themes throughout the handbook.

Charlotte Hebebrand, Director General of IFA, said: “The global fertilizer industry is committed to working with farmers both large and small, to help them improve nutrient uptake and therefore reduce environmental losses. The “4R Principles” of nutrient management - using the ‘right nutrient source’ at the ‘right rate’, at the ‘right time’ and in the ‘right place’ form the foundation of this task and are explained at length in this new guide.”

The handbook also helps farmers to establish a direct link between efficient nutrient management techniques and strategies to both mitigate and adapt to changing climatic conditions.

“The world’s farmers are on the frontline of tremendous challenges threatening the agricultural sector in the 21st Century,” comments Marco Marzano de Marinis, Secretary General of WFO. “A steep rise in the demand of food to feed a growing world population, price volatility; changing diets and the negative effects of climate change will have dramatic effects on the world’s agricultural farmlands and markets. This comprehensive, easy-to-use tool helps farmers and extension trainers to understand the positive results of converting their farming practices to climate-smart agriculture.”

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Notes to editors

A webinar presenting the findings of the handbook will take place on April 20, at 3 p.m (CET) offering the opportunity to interact with experts and fellow farmers around the best management practices suggested in the handbook.

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About the International Fertilizer Association
The International Fertilizer Association (IFA) is the only global fertilizer association with a membership of more than 500 entities, encompassing all actors in the fertilizer value chain: producers, traders, distributors, service providers, advisors, research organizations and NGOs. IFA promotes the industry’s engagement in sustainable agricultural practices and the efficient and responsible production, distribution and use of plant nutrients to advance global food security and sustainable development goals.

About the World Farmers Organisation
WFO, the World Farmers Organisation, is a community of geographically balanced entrepreneurial farmers, that regardless their size (small, medium and large- scale farmers), gender, age and composition (family farmers), aims to see their rights as food producers and role as economic actors, globally recognized.

WFO’s mandate is to bring together the national producers and agricultural cooperatives with the objective of developing policies in favour and support of the farmers' causes in developed and developing countries. Its mission is to represent and advocate on behalf of farmers in global policy fora and create the conditions for the adoption of policies aimed to improve the economic environment and livelihood of producers, their families, and rural communities.

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