04 Jul 2013

SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2013-2

In this IssueIPNI Southeast Asia Program and Cocoa Care International start Agronomy and Nutrition Research Program on Cocoa in Sulawesi, Indonesia
IPNI Program Updates
-IPNI SEAP and Cocoa Care International start agronomy and nutrition research program on cocoa in Sulawesi, Indonesia

-IPNI SEAP and IPNI Africa assess oil palm best management research program in West Africa

-IPNI SEAP supports PhD student participation at the workshop on sustainable management of soil in oil palm plantings

-SEAP Staff Updates

News From the Region
-Major palm oil players set sights on Africa

Other News
-IPNI Program Report 2013 highlights the contribution of IPNI in the development of 4R Nutrient Stewardship Approaches

Literature at a Glance
-IPNI SEAP is preparing a new oil palm book for publication in 2013

-Recent publications received

IPNI SEAP in the Press
-Recent press releases

Upcoming Events
-Scroll down for updates
Cacao has been grown in Indonesia for hundreds of years and since the 1980s, grew rapidly to be now the third largest producer in the world with annual production of 550,000 – 570,000 metric tons forecast in the 2012/2013 crop year. Since the early 2000s, there has been an ongoing decline in quality and productivity, which has undermined cacao farm profitability, presenting a substantial risk to the survival of the industry in Indonesia, while global markets are still strong.

IPNI Southeast Asia Program and Cocoa Care started a cacao farm research and development project in Soppeng, South Sulawesi, Indonesia to quantify the effectiveness of balanced fertilizer applications to increase cocoa farm productivity, improve cacao bean quality and increase cacao farm income in a typical Indonesian small-holder farming system, and to estimate the market potential for sustainable nutrition in cocoa. Specifically, the project has identified 20 small holder cacao farmers in the Soppeng / Bone area of South Sulawesi where generally poorly trained farmers are struggling to maintain sustainable productivity levels under increasing pressure from pests and diseases with inadequate application of necessary farm inputs.

The cacao farmers will be trained both ‘in class’ and ‘in field’ how to implement good agricultural practices on their farms for maximum productivity. Essential farming tools will be provided to families who are unable to afford them and, where necessary, dead or non-productive cacao trees will be rehabilitated or replaced with the best available planting materials. Soil and leaf sampling will be undertaken within the farms to guide the implementation of nutritional and other soil management practices. The concept of 4R Nutrient Stewardship will be used to implement the nutrition program. Farms are split into half. One half of the farm will be treated with general good agricultural management practices, but will not receive fertilizer applications. The other half will receive good agricultural management practices, including fertilizer applications. Test plots with 50 to 100 trees each will be established within each treatment to monitor the impact of these interventions.

This innovative design will enable statistically robust comparative analyses. Furthermore, the newly selected farms will also be analyzed jointly with farms that are already within the IPNI Cocoa Care Program. The project will be jointly managed by IPNI Southeast Asia Program, Malaysia and PT Community Solutions International, Cocoa Care program. Farmer identification, procurement, field trials implementation and monitoring will be conducted by the Cocoa Care team while IPNI Southeast Asia Program will provide guidance on scientific methods, statistical analysis of results and managerial oversight.

Cocoa Care is a program, managed by PT CSI and voluntarily supported by experienced leaders in cacao sustainability in Indonesia to leverage existing cocoa industry capabilities, both within the farming community and industry stakeholders to help cacao farming families overcome current difficulties and move toward economic sustainability. Details are available at www.cocoacare.org.

IPNI SEAP and IPNI Africa assess Oil Palm Best Management Research Program in Ghana, West Africa
IPNI Southeast Asia demonstrated great success with best management practices (BMP) in oil palm growing environments in Southeast Asia. Today, oil palm growers invest in existing plantations elsewhere in the world, including West Africa.

Can BMP developed in Southeast Asia, be deployed to intensify oil palm plantations in these regions? In environmental analyses, IPNI demonstrated similarity in the poorer oil palm environments of Kalimantan with other regions in Southeast Asia, Latin America and also West Africa.

This project assesses the requirements for adaptation of BMP in West Africa in IPNI partner plantations in Ghana, and if results permit, it will include development of concepts and projects for full BMP adaptation in West Africa. Beginning 2013, the project runs for next 5 years, and involves various plantation partners and smallholder growers.

Three major oil palm producers in Ghana and the Sustainable West African Palm-Oil Programme (SWAPP) of the Solidaridad West Africa Project which supports small holders have endorsed the establishment of a BMP project to intensify their oil palm production. This is a pioneering effort in West Africa where intensive, high yielding, commercial oil palm production systems are in their infancy.

Adapting BMP from Southeast Asia, where production increases have been shown, the project will include data collection (i.e. climate monitoring, soil chemical and physical analysis, fertilizer use, agronomic management, and crop recovery), optimization of production process, and training with cost-effective techniques to increase production of oil palm yields. One BMP project plantation will also function as a learning centre for oil palm plantations in West Africa. By engaging with the Sustainable West African Palm-Oil Programme which supports the intensification of oil palm production, IPNI aims to transfer management practices from its BMP project sites to other plantations and smallholder systems in the region.

A startup workshop for the project Sustainable Intensification of Oil Palm in West Africa was held at the Bensu Oil Palm Plantations (BOPP) on 20- 21 March 2013. Participants from plantations and the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme were provided with short lectures, case studies, group discussions, group tasks, and field tasks on topics related to the implementation of BMP in oil palm for both mature and immature plantations. In May 2013, a field assessment was conducted, where engagement actions and specific responsibilities for project partners were identified.

IPNI SEAP supports PhD student participation at the Workshop: Sustainable Management of Soil in Oil Palm Plantings
IPNI SEAP is pleased to provide funding support for Hsiao-Hang Tao, a PhD candidate from the University of Oxford, to attend a workshop on sustainable management of soil in oil palm in Indonesia this November (details below).

Hsiao-Hang Tao’s research interest is in soil ecology and ecosystem services in agro-ecosystems and tropical forest. Hsiao-Hang is a DPhil student at the Institute of Biodiversity in the Department of Zoology, at the University of Oxford. Her PhD study looks at soil decomposition under different soil management practices in oil palm ecosystems and natural forests, which then links the ecosystem function to ecosystem services and goods provided in the oil palm landscape, such as soil fertility and oil production. She focuses on decomposition of oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) and its effects on soil physical, chemical and biological properties. She will also look at ecosystem function and services under different soil management of oil palm small holders.

Workshop: Sustainable management of soil in oil palm plantings, 7 - 8 Nov 2013, Medan, Indonesia

The overall objective of this PalmiNet workshop is to improve the management of soil in oil palm agro-ecosystems through generation of better (more holistic and site-specific) information and advice to growers. It will focus on synthesis of knowledge and identification of research gaps by scientists working in oil palm systems, with particular emphasis on indicators of sustainability to help growers underpin RSPO certification.

The workshop aims to create and strengthen links and facilitate exchange of ideas between scientists working on sustainable soil management in oil palm. Outputs include a synthesis paper on challenges and approaches for improving sustainability of soil management under oil palm. This will chart a way forward for collaborative research and production of decision support materials for managers.

Participants will present their approaches (theoretical and practical), current and past research activities, and ideas for the future. The presentations will take into account: characteristics of the oil palm system; soil types involved; the various stages of the crop cycle; relevant monitoring approaches or tools; state of knowledge and knowledge gaps; and priorities for the future, using a template provided. Participants will then collaboratively: produce a synthesis paper; establish further links through the Palminet network and a proposed CIRAD ‘Plateforme’; formulate a joint research project; discuss the possibility of producing a handbook 'Guidelines for sustainable management of soil under oil palm'.

Contact person : Dr Paul Nelson, James Cook University, Australia (paul.nelson@jcu.edu.au)

SEAP Staff Updates

IPNI SEAP welcomes Rachel Lim who joined us on 1st May 2013 as Data Manager and Analyst. With a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. degree from University Putra Malaysia, she began as a Microbiologist in Malaysian Agri Hi-Tech (Myagri) in 2009 and soon rose to the position of Senior Principal Researcher in 2012. Her responsibilities included management and coordination of research for the study of microbe-related products. She developed new approaches for product enhancement and also coordinated inter- department research collaborations. She is currently responsible for data management of oil palm projects in the IPNI Southeast Asia Program.

Julie Mae C. Pasuquin, IPNI SEAP agronomist between 2004-2013, has recently joined the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as Manager of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) Program’s Global Rice Phenotyping Network. Effective 10 June 2013, Julie will be coordinating the Network’s phenotyping activities from IRRI’s headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines and will be leading the development and curation of a phenomics database that will be integrated into IRRI’s data pipeline for gene/trait discovery and utilization. Meanwhile, Julie will continue to work with IPNI SEAP on her PhD thesis with Chiba University under the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Ronpaku PhD Fellowship Program. She will be integrating results of SEAP’s successful research on maize and oil palm in the region under the general framework of ecological crop intensification through site-specific, best management practices. Julie can be reached through email at j.pasuquin@irri.org or by phone at +63(2) 580-5600 ext. 2618.

News from the Region
Major Palm Oil Players in Indonesia set Sights on Africa
As the Indonesian government revises its 2007 regulation on plantation permits, to impose limits on the maximum palm plantation area a single entity can control, i.e. <100,000 hectares in its bid to encourage more small holder involvement, several major oil palm plantations are looking at options in Africa. These include PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technologies and PT Bakrie Sumatera Plantations, according to Indonesian Palm Oil Board chairman Derom Bangun,

Derom explained that Nigeria, Liberia and the Ivory Coast have favourable climates for oil palm and show great potential for expansion. He added that Nigeria, the biggest palm oil producer in Africa, which produces more than 850,000 tons of CPO every year, does not meet their estimated annual demand of 29 million tons. This represents a huge market that could prove lucrative for Indonesian companies, if offered incentives.

In February this year, the Trade Ministry's director general, Gusmadi Bustami said that Nigeria had indicated interest in partnering with Indonesia to develop the country's oil palm plantation industry, offering 4 million hectares of land for Indonesia to use for oil palm or other plantations.

Source: The Jakarta Post, June 22, 2013 http://www.thejakartapost.com
Other News
International Plant Nutrition Institute Program Report 2013 Highlights the Contribution of IPNI in the Development of 4R Nutrient Stewardship Approaches

Terry L. Roberts, President of IPNI, opened the IPNI Annual Program Report highlighting that IPNI has 30 scientists working in 12 agronomic programs worldwide and that we support research and educational activities in more than 50 countries. Each of IPNI’s regional programs has a geographic border, but the issues related to plant nutrition are borderless. Because the science related to plant nutrition is universal, IPNI’s approach has been to group nutrient issues into global thematic areas that can be addressed at a local scale. Five years ago IPNI organized its staff into working groups to address six thematic areas—Nutrient Use and Cycling; Fertilizer Best Management Practices (BMP) and Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE) – 4R; Nutrients and the Environment; Spatial Nutrient Issues; Nutrient Management Decision Support; and Nutrients and Society—as part of a global tactical approach to help IPNI address specific nutrient-based issues. These themes have evolved somewhat as the issues have been evaluated and studied and as results or deliverables have been produced.

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship is a good example of an initiative that developed within the thematic area of fertilizer BMP and nutrient use efficiency. The 4Rs (right source, right rate, right time, right place) began with a question and proposition in a paper raised by Dr. Paul Fixen, IPNI’s Senior Vice President, at an International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) workshop in 2007. The question: “Can we define a global framework within which fertilizer BMPs can be adapted to local conditions?”

This question and the ensuing discussion led to a worldwide dialogue that resulted in an approach for fertilizer BMP adopted by the world’s fertilizer industry. This approach to nutrient management considers economic, social, and environmental aspects that are essential to the sustainability of agricultural systems.

What has been IPNI’s role in 4Rs?

IPNI has led in the scientific development and support of the concept. We expanded the framework initially put forth by Dr. Fixen, prepared articles in the farm press and co-authored articles with our academic colleagues promoting the concept within scientific societies and crop advisers. We organized workshops, spoke at conferences, and made videos explaining the 4Rs. IPNI also developed a global manual detailing the scientific principles behind each of the four ‘rights’ complete with examples and case studies.

IPNI has partnered with colleagues in the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), The Fertilizer Institute, and the Canadian Fertilizer Institute to support the adoption and implementation of 4R Nutrient Stewardship within the industry.

The 4R story is not finished. There is still much to do. There are knowledge gaps that will require research and there are awareness gaps that will require more education. IPNI will continue our involvement in scientifically supporting nutrient management through 4Rs.

The 4Rs are just one example, which are further expanded in this 2012 Annual Program Report. Other examples such as the multi-country adoption of IPNI’s Nutrient Expert®, a computer-based decision support tool for making fertilizer recommendations; the adapting of IPNI Southeast Asia’s oil palm BMP to other regions; IPNI’s private/public partnerships to study and manage greenhouse gas emissions are also highlighted. We encourage you to learn more about the accomplishments of IPNI and our regional programs from around the world.

Download the report: www.ipni.net/ipniweb/portal.nsf/0/210EB2B1B0970A3485257B72006A4AF9/$FILE/PR_2013_web_FINAL.pdf

Literature at a Glance
IPNI SEAP is preparing a new oil palm book for publication in 2013

Thomas Fairhurst and William Griffiths (2013). Oil Palm: Best Management Practices for Yield Intensification. International Plant Nutrition Institute. This book provides background knowledge for all who wish to successfully implement projects on Best Management Practices (BMP) in Oil Palm. The book is built on the long history that IPNI and the book authors have in the development of processes to deploy BMP. In 2001, IPNI was asked to provide Pacific Rim Plantations Limited with advice on the rehabilitation of PT Asiatic Persada, a run–down oil palm estate in Jambi Prov­ince, Indonesia. As a result, a Pilot Phase to test BMP for yield improvement was set up in 2002 and maintained until the property was sold in 2005. Subsequently, BMP were introduced in 2002 in a Pilot Phase in PT Hara­pan Sawit Lestari in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Good results were obtained in both plantations and IPNI launched a project to implement Pilot Phase BMP in six plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan in 2005. The field research and development component of this large-scale project was completed in 2010.

With the experience gained from practical field work over the past ten years, we felt it timely to present the process of implementing BMP for yield intensification in mature oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia. As the availability of land for area expansion diminishes, plantation companies will become more focused on yield improvement as the main opportunity to improve financial returns. Yield intensifica­tion also contributes indirectly to the conservation of Southeast Asia’s forest wilder­ness because higher yields means that less land is required to produce the world’s vegetable oil requirements.

Books received and latest additions to the SEAP Reference Database

Lai, Oi-Ming; Tan, Chin-Ping; Akoh, Casimir C. (2012). Palm Oil - Production, Processing, Characterization, and Uses. AOCS Press. ISBN 978-0-9818936-9-3.

This book serves as a rich source of information on the production, processing, characterization and utilization of palm oil and its components. It also includes several topics related to oil palm genomics, tissue culture and genetic engineering of oil palm. Physical, chemical and polymorphic properties of palm oil and its components as well as the measurement and maintenance of palm oil quality are included and may be of interest to researchers and food manufacturers. General uses of palm oil/kernel oil and their fractions in food, nutritional and oleochemical products are discussed as well as the potential use of palm oil as an alternative to trans fats. Some attention is also given to palm biomass, bioenergy, biofuels, waste management, and sustainability.

We have also updated our SEAP Reference Database with references dealing mainly with the following topics: oil palm, coffee, and nutrient and fertilizer management. For a complete listing of these references, please click on the attachment below.
New References in IPNI SEAP Library 2nd Quarter 2013.pdf
IPNI SEAP in the Press
IPNI Southeast Asia Program has in the second quarter of 2013 disseminated the following press releases:
  • Adapting Nutrient Expert® for maize in India: a success story
  • Improving Wheat Yield in India with the user-friendly and robust Nutrient Expert® tool
  • The potential of 4R nutrient management to increase yields in the grey degraded lands of North Vietnam

Click here to access IPNI SEAP press releases.
Upcoming Events
17th International Plant Nutrition Colloquium
19-22 August 2013
Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Center, Turkey

5th Palm Oil Summit
20-21 August 2013
Le Meridien, Jakarta, Indonesia

3rd PALMEX Thailand 2013
29-30 August 2013
Maritime Park and Spa Resort, Krabi, Thailand

Tropical Peatland and Oil Palm 2013
7 September 2013
Kingwood Hotel, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia

Seminar: The Oil Palm Plantation of Tomorrow
10-12 September 2013
Santika Dyandra Hotel, Medan, Indonesia

3rd Annual World Congress of Agriculture 2013
23-25 September 2013
Hangzhou, China

5th PALMEX Indonesia 2013
2 - 4 October 2013
Santika Premiere Dyandra Hotel & Convention
Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia

Workshop: Sustainable Management of Soil in Oil Palm Plantings
7 - 8 November 2013
Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia

PIPOC International Palm Oil Congress 2013
19-21 November 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

9th Indonesian Palm Oil Conference and 2014 Price Outlook
27-29 November 2013
Bandung, Indonesia

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SEAP Information Services

The Southeast Asia Program office of IPNI has an intensive collection of papers, books, articles, newsletters, and slides categorized into a searchable information database. A list of the latest additions to our reference database is attached.

We can also provide search lists of the resources available in our physical library. Click here for more information on our Information Services.
Disclaimer: News from the Region is a selection of regional agriculture-related articles extracted from internet sources. IPNI does not verify, endorse, or take responsibility for the accuracy, currency, completeness or quality of the content in these sites. Due to the nature of this service, IPNI cannot always verify every single news item. Be sure to check with the official websites of the companies, universities, research centers, and government agencies before using any information in the SEAP newsletters or webpages, as IPNI cannot vouch for news items submitted by the public. Links to external websites are included for the sole purpose of providing easy access to the source. The inclusion of external hyperlinks does not constitute IPNI’s endorsement of the views expressed by these websites. IPNI shall not be responsible for any damages caused directly or indirectly by the use of any information or content from within linked websites.

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