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Rachid Serraj (FAO)• 2019 IFPRI Egypt Seminar "Fertilizer policy in Egypt and options for improvements"


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As part of the seminar held by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) under the title of "Fertilizer policy in Egypt and options for improvements".

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Rachid Serraj (FAO)• 2019 IFPRI Egypt Seminar "Fertilizer policy in Egypt and options for improvements"

  1. 1. Improving Fertilizer Use Efficiency in Egypt: Perspective from FAO Content:  Introduction/Background  Egypt’s policies and strategies on sustainable fertilizers use and management  FAO’s work on sustainable use of fertilizers in Egypt (cases)  Take-home messages - FAO’s International Code of Conduct for Sustainable Use & Management of Fertilizers Rachid Serraj Delivery Manager of the Small Scale Family Farming Initiative (RI-SSFF)
  2. 2. N & Ag Productivity “ Chemical fertilizer is the fuel that has powered the Green Revolution's forward thrust ” Norman Borlaug Is this sustainable? What are the alternatives? Cassman et al., 2002. Agroecosystems, Nitrogen-use Efficiency and Nitrogen Management
  3. 3.  N and P flows to the biosphere and oceans: N & P biogeochemical cycles have been radically changed by humans as a result of industrial and agricultural processes.  Fertilizer production & application is main concern  Human activities convert more atmospheric N into reactive forms, which is emitted to the atmosphere rather than taken up by crops.  a small proportion of P fertilizer applied to Ag production systems is taken up by plants; much of it ends up in aquatic systems.  A significant fraction of applied N and P makes its way to the sea, and can push marine and aquatic systems across ecological thresholds… Estimates of how different control variables for 7 planetary boundaries have changed from 1950 to present. The green shaded polygon represents the safe operating space. Source: Steffen et al. 2015 Biogeocheminal flows & Planetary Boundaries
  4. 4. BNF for sustainable intensification Biological Nitrogen Fixation: ~200 Mt /year Industrial fertilizer production: 120 Mt/year Energetic cost; pollution (NO3, etc.) Excess NO3 in soil : Inhibition of BNF
  5. 5. FAO & Fertilizer use in Egypt - Background Most interesting fact: The study found several traditional practices commonly implemented and which play a major role in restoring and maintaining soil fertility, including:  Planting berseem clover as a winter fodder crop before the cotton crop, providing a green manure by ploughing in after taking one or two cuts;  Incorporating farmyard manure into the soil during seedbed preparation, usually done before an important cash crop such as cotton is planted;  Including a legume in rotation such as fababean, clover and soybean, which have a positive effect on soil fertility and provide part of the N requirement Recommendations for improving soil fertility management:  A more extensive use of soil and plant tissue analysis.  Assessment of the fertilizing value of fertilizers that have been marketed without proper testing.  Study of the direct and residual effects of biofertilizers and organic manures.  Preparation of fertilizer recommendations for new crop varieties.  Development of new types of complex fertilizers suitable for drip and sprinkler irrigation systems.  Assessment of the residual as well as the direct effect of different sources of phosphorus.  Preparation of nitrogen balance sheets for the main field crops.
  6. 6. Objective: to improve productivity and fertility in degraded and salt-affected soils through Integrated Soil and Nutrition Management (ISNM) and farmers’ involvement through FFSs; Specific objectives: 1. To demonstrate appropriate ISNM methods for sustainable production (farmers’ fields) in Fayoum and Nubariya; 2. To strengthen and/or establish field laboratories for optimum application of ISNM; 3. To strengthen agricultural extension in pilot areas with emphasis on the designation and training of extension workers and farmer groups (FFSs); 4. To establish at national level, a liaising and technology units. e.g. One major achievement is application of zinc fertilizers in rice fields; 20 years ago zinc fertilizer was unknown to rice farmers in Egypt. Today application of zinc fertilizers to paddy nurseries is one of the general fertilizer practices in rice cultivation. Capacity Building in Land Management & Soil Productivity/Fertility through Farmers Field Schools [2005]
  7. 7. Egypt's strategies on fertilizers management • On request of the Government of Egypt, FAO is currently reviewing the Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy 2030 (SADS); • One of the objectives of the strategy is agricultural land maintenance policy and efforts towards improving quality control of agricultural inputs, including fertilizers, rationalize fertilizer and pesticide use and maximize FUE; • Great emphasis on programs for maximizing farmers’ utilization of agricultural residues and popularizing ways and means to recycle them in producing fertilizers, animal feed and energy creating an added economic value and contributing to the reduction of the negative environmental effects. • An action plan under development.
  8. 8. FAO work in Egypt – GAP Fayoum • In support of GAPs for sustainable improvement of horticultural production of small-scale farmers in Fayoum, SS farmers receive hands-on training in – Integrated production and protection of horticultural crops; – adoption of GAP, water and natural resource management, seedling cultivation; – effective use of agriculture waste through the implementation of compost piles; – Proper use of fertilizers and bio fertilizers to improve soil fertility. • practices for enhanced soil fertility: soil samples are analyzed and results and recommendations are distributed to farmers; who also benefit from application of gypsum to improve soil fertility, as well as deep ploughing and land laser leveling; • GAP guidelines for small scale horticulture farmers.
  9. 9. FAO work in Egypt – GAP Matrouh • EU-Funded Project to increase sustainability and production of rainfed agriculture in rural areas of northern Matrouh, as means for improving livelihoods of the rural poor. Two of the main activities: • Providing input related to high production and efficiency e.g., high quality olive seedlings, good quality fertilizers, micronutrients to address constraints in the adoption of improved technologies; • Capacity building of farmers on good crop management practices (trainings and field days) to train farmers on cultivation of olive seedlings and adoption of GAP practices for olives and figs and procedures of distribution and application of organic fertilizers according to tree type and age.
  10. 10. The International Code of Conduct for Sustainable Use & Management of Fertilizers Launch on 05 August 2019 after endorsement at 41st FAO Conf. In support of Food Safety, Sustainable Soil Management and preserving the Environment Objectives ICC-SUMF: • Provide voluntary standards of practice for all stakeholders involved in use and management of fertilizers, e.g. governments, farmers, private sector, etc. • Encourage cooperation between all stakeholders involved in the fertilizer value chain for the responsible and sustainable development, production, use and management of fertilizers and reused and recycled nutrients; • Promote transparency, partnership and information exchange among all stakeholders regarding the access to and use of fertilizers; • Promote safe recycling of nutrients to reduce the environmental and soil health impacts of excess nutrients; • Inspire governments, research, private sector and civil society to promote innovation in sustainable agricultural practices, technologies and management so as to improve soil fertility and nutrient management; • Assist countries and regions to control and enforce fertilizer quality through appropriate regulatory mechanisms and reducing economic losses to end users; • Improve fertilizer safety and reduce the risks to human and animal health; • Encourage the dissemination of knowledge, e.g. data on fertilizer use and management, through appropriate mechanisms; • Encourage ISFM using nutrients from a range of safe sources.