Prof. Xie Jian-Chang, Head of the Potassium Research Group and former Deputy-Director of the Institute of Soil Science of the Academia Sinica, Nanjing, China, is the first winner of the IFA International Fertilizer Award.
Prof. Xie, generally considered as "the father of potassium" in China, has devoted over 30 years to this research and extension work. His work of on soil potassium and magnesium and on crop responses to these nutrients, together with his preparation of the "Soil Potassium Map of China", and his effective communication of the results through demonstrations, meetings, conferences and publications, have drawn widespread attention to the gravity of nutrient imbalances in China.
His efforts over many years have materially contributed to reversing a dangerous trend towards inefficient, unbalanced fertilizer use in the country and to ensuring the sustainability of China's agriculture.
Prof. Xie has been instrumental in organizing a large number of potassium fertilizer trials on various crops. In general, they have demonstrated a 20-40% increase in crop yields, with an average value-cost ratio of more than six, enhanced crop resistance to drought, diseases and pests, greatly improved quality and market value of the crops, and beneficial interaction with nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers.
Since 1987, Prof. Xie has been the Secretary General of the Soil Science Society of China. He has extensive international connections and is engaged in many professional exchanges. He has organized six international workshops on potassium and has published more than one hundred papers. He is the Chief Editor of "English-Chinese Dictionary of Soil Science" and of "Paddy Soils of China". He has made many suggestions to policy-making bodies at different levels concerning the need for potassium fertilizers in China.