06 Oct 2014

SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2014 - 3

In this IssuePlantCalc: Crop Nutrient Removal Calculator
IPNI Program Updates
-PlantCalc: crop nutrient removal calculator
-IPNI joins Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture
-IPNI SEAP publishes new oil palm BMP publication
-IPNI SEAP to distribute Selected Papers on Soil Science

News From the Region
- Water situation this year allows not over 4.7 million rai of rice farming
- Corn cultivation boosted in Mekong River Delta
-Indonesia expected to produce 1000 million oil palm sprouts
-Indonesia coffee flowers early but bumper crop not certain

Other News
-Some farmers in India partnering with Pepsi to market cashew juice

Literature at a Glance
-Report: Deforestation success stories
-Crop expansion and conservation priorities in tropical countries
-The effects of agricultural technological progress on deforestation
-Will yield improvements on the forest frontier reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
-Green revolution research saved 18 to 27 million hectares from agricultural production

IPNI SEAP in the Press
-Recent press releases

Upcoming Events
-Scroll down for updates

-ILRI: Program Leader, Feed and Forages Biosciences
Crop farmers who use the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch are in luck. The new PlantCalc App from IPNI is now available on these devices. The calculator application estimates crop nutrient removal of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (expressed as P2O5), potassium (expressed as K2O), and sulfur (S) for a wide range of field crops, including rice.

A truly portable solution, once PlantCalc is uploaded on the Apple devices, it can be used offline and does not require internet connectivity. Results are calculated based on yield goals selected by the user, and displayed in either metric or US/Imperial units. Users also have the option to copy, print or email results.

This multilingual calculator is accessible in six languages including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese (Mandarin), with accurate translations by IPNI staff. Read more

IPNI Joins Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture
IPNI, together with two other fertilizer industry organizations, the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), have joined the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture to encourage the industry to promote the proper use of our products to minimize their environmental impact in the field. The Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture was formed to help governments, farmers, scientists, business and civil society, as well as regional unions and international organizations, to improve agricultural practices, food systems and food policies to address climate change and promote the efficient use of natural resources.

The role of fertilizers for increasing agricultural productivity is key to global food security and for increasing yields on existing arable land, thus preserving forests and biodiversity. As such, fertilizers associated with good agricultural practices are necessary components of climate-smart agriculture.

“Global food security will never be realized without the use of commercial fertilizers, and our industry’s 4R Nutrient Stewardship program provides the foundation for responsible use of these essential plant nutrients,” said IPNI President Dr. Terry L. Roberts. One of the most important actions to building climate-smart agricultural practices is to improve outreach to farmers on correct and balanced fertilizer application. Read more
IPNI SEAP publishes new oil palm BMP publication
IPNI SEAP is publishing a new book based on observations over the last 10 years of research and practical experience gained on refining Best Management Practices (BMP) and developing a process to deploy them successfully in order to improve oil palm yields in Southeast Asia. The book outlines the need, causes, and characteristics of yields and then discusses the implementation of BMP.

It includes a review of case studies and pilot programs showing how BMP were implemented and the achieved results with accompanying statistical analysis. It has been demonstrated that improving yields is profitable and that yield intensification is necessary to reduce area expansion.

This publication represents the “state of the art” on how to manage mature oil palm plantations and supports the principles and criteria of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). It is a practical textbook documenting how to implement the right BMP to increase yields and production in ways that are profitable to plantations and sustainable environmental stewardship.

Oil Palm: Best Management Practices for Yield Intensification by Thomas Fairhurst and William Griffiths is now available. To place an order, click here.

IPNI SEAP to distribute Selected Papers on Soil Science
Soils are the foundation on which sustainable agriculture can be practiced. It is important to know the soil found on a piece of land and its properties to help decide which is the most economical crop best suited for the area. Knowledge of the limitations a soil has, will help the user or agronomist develop good sustainable agricultural practices for the crop planted. Having been developed over different climatic and environmental conditions, tropical soils are distinctly different from temperate soils . Many tropical soils are considered problem soils which need special management practices to maximize yields. Unfortunately many textbooks on soils today are based on temperate soils.

The publishers have compiled a collection of papers to help bridge the gap in our knowledge. Through this compilation of papers on problem soils such as peat, sandy soils and acid sulfate soils, the publishers hope to help improve agricultural practices and promote efficient sustainable use of our natural resources for agriculture. IPNI SEAP is pleased to announce that we are distributing the publication Selected Papers on Soil Science: Problem Soils published by Agricultural Crop Trust (ACT). To place an order, click here.

News from the Region
Water situation this year allows not over 4.7 million rai of rice farming
The Director General of the Royal Irrigation Department reports that the water situation this year is similar to that of last year, meaning that rice farming should not exceed an area of 4.7 million rai as a result. However, officials will encourage farmers to grow other kinds of crops and advise them on a selection of quality seed and a marketing plan.

Source: National News Bureau of Thailand, August 4, 2014

Corn cultivation boosted in Mekong River Delta
Crop restructuring is one of the government’s agricultural restructuring key strategies, the Vietnam Economic News reported, adding that the Mekong River Delta is leading in switching from rice to other crops for higher economic efficiency, especially corn. With the advantages such as fertile soil and moderate climate, the Mekong River Delta has long been the country’s key rice producing area. However, rice production and consumption faced export difficulties due to increasing competition with rivals from Thailand, India, and Myanmar, and rice farmer incomes have been lower than expected.

Source: Vietnam Breaking News, August 14, 2014

Indonesia expected to produce 1000 million oil palm sprouts
The Indonesian Palm Seed Communication Forum has estimated that Indonesia’s palm seed production this year is expected to reach 100 million sprouts, down 20-30 percent from 130 million sprouts in 2012. Chairman of Indonesian Palm Seed Communication Forum Dwi Asmono here on Sunday said one cause of the decline in oil seed production is the lack of land expansion. However, he acknowledged that he has not yet obtained data on the reduction of land expansion.

Source: Eco-Business, September 8, 2014

Indonesia coffee flowers early but bumper crop not certain
Coffee flowers blossomed one month earlier than usual in Indonesia, but the lack of other signs pointing to a bumper crop in the next harvest year have checked losses in global robusta prices, dealers said. London robusta futures will be sensitive to supply changes in the next few months, especially when Indonesia and Vietnam start to compete for buyers early next year. Output in top robusta producer Vietnam is expected to be down slightly in the 2014/2015 crop year from the previous year's record output.

Source: Business Recorder, September 11, 2014

Other News
Some Farmers in India partnering with Pepsi to market Cashew Juice
Starting next year, cashew juice will go into a mixed fruit juice drink sold in India under the Tropicana label, replacing more expensive juices like apple, pineapple and banana. While the cashew is a favorite nut worldwide, the so-called apple from which each nut grows is almost always left on the ground or thrown away, where it begins to ferment within 24 hours of picking. And the juice by itself, while highly nutritious, is abundant in tannins that impart an acrid taste.

Pepsi India, together with the Clinton Foundation, which had expressed interest in the company’s efforts to incorporate small farmers into its global supply chains, is working to improve cultivation and yields and offer better prices for their nuts as well as create a market for their cashew apples.

Source: The New York Times, Aug 8, 2014

Literature at a Glance
Report: Deforestation Success Stories
This report shows how a substantial number of developing countries, home to most of the world’s tropical forests, have reduced deforestation and thus their emissions of the global warming pollution that threatens the world with dangerous climate change.

Based on peer-reviewed quantitative data, the report demonstrates success at a variety of scales, ranging from whole countries and regions—which just by themselves contain large areas of tropical forest (e.g., Brazil, central Africa)— down to relatively small projects in parts of other countries (Madagascar, Kenya, and Mozambique). The funding for these successes has come from a variety of sources, including bilateral REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) programs, carbon credits, and even emigrants (El Salvador), and much of the financial support has come from the countries’ own citizens. Beyond money, these examples also demonstrate how the power of political will— manifested in a range of actors across the public, private, and community spectrum—can have positive impacts on forest conservation, socioeconomic development, and forest/land use changes.

This report was produced by the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative (TFCI) of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Doug Boucher, Jordan Faires, and Sharon Smith are UCS staff members specializing in tropical forests, agriculture, and climate. Pipa Elias is a consultant to the TFCI.
Crop Expansion and Conservation Priorities in Tropical Countries
Abstract: Expansion of cropland in tropical countries is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss, and threatens to undermine progress towards meeting the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. To understand this threat better, we analysed data on crop distribution and expansion in 128 tropical countries, assessed changes in area of the main crops and mapped overlaps between conservation priorities and cultivation potential. Rice was the single crop grown over the largest area, especially in tropical forest biomes. Cropland in tropical countries expanded by c. 48,000 km2 per year from 1999–2008. The countries which added the greatest area of new cropland were Nigeria, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Brazil. Soybeans and maize are the crops which expanded most in absolute area. Other crops with large increases included rice, sorghum, oil palm, beans, sugar cane, cow peas, wheat and cassava. Areas of high cultivation potential—while bearing in mind that political and socio-economic conditions can be as influential as biophysical ones—may be vulnerable to conversion in the future. These include some priority areas for biodiversity conservation in tropical countries (e.g., Frontier Forests and High Biodiversity Wilderness Areas), which have previously been identified as having ‘low vulnerability’, in particular in central Africa and northern Australia. There are also many other smaller areas which are important for biodiversity and which have high cultivation potential (e.g., in the fringes of the Amazon basin, in the Paraguayan Chaco, and in the savanna woodlands of the Sahel and East Africa). We highlight the urgent need for more effective sustainability standards and policies addressing both production and consumption of tropical commodities, including robust land-use planning in agricultural frontiers, establishment of new protected areas or REDD+ projects in places agriculture has not yet reached, and reduction or elimination of incentives for land-demanding bioenergy feedstocks. Phalan B, Bertzky M, Butchart SHM, Donald PF, Scharlemann JPW, et al. PLoS ONE (2013) Volume 8(1)

Phalan et al, 2013.pdf
The Effects of Agricultural Technological Progress on Deforestation: What do we really know?
Abstract: Increasing agricultural yields seem an obvious way to satisfy increasing demands for food and fuel while minimizing expansion of agriculture into forest areas; however, an influential literature worries that promoting agricultural innovation could enhance agriculture’s profitability thereby encouraging deforestation. Clarifying the effects of agricultural technological progress on deforestation is therefore crucial for designing effective policy responses to the challenges faced by global agriculture. In this article we review the empirical evidence on these effects and synthesize estimates of future global cropland expansion. Our main insights are that: (i) the empirical evidence on a positive link between regional technological progress and deforestation is much weaker than what seems generally accepted; (ii) at a global level, most analysts expect broad based technological progress to be land saving; however, composition effects are important as low-yield, land-abundant regions are likely to experience further land expansion. Toward the future, empirical work understanding how localized technological progress in agriculture transmits through international trade and commodity markets will help to bridge the gap between the findings of local, econometric, studies on the one hand and global, model based, studies on the other. Nelson B. Villoria*, Derek Byerlee and James Stevenson. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (2014) Volume 36 (2)
Will Yield Improvements on the Forest Frontier reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions? A Global Analysis of Oil Palm
Excerpt: Climate change, rising commodity prices, and growing land scarcity have put competition between agricultural land and forests high on the development agenda. After fossil fuel combustion, land cover change is the second most important cause of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 6%–18% of global emissions. Tropical deforestation is the leading source of GHG emissions from land use changes, and expansion of commercial agriculture is the most important determinant of tropical deforestation. Between 1980 and 2000, 83% of all new agricultural land in the tropics came from either intact (55%) or disturbed forests (28%).

Oil crops have been the most rapidly expanding agricultural commodity group in global consumption, reflecting rising incomes in developing countries, a relatively high income elasticity, and increasing use for biofuels, which now account for about 15% of global consumption. From 1990 to 2009 increases in area under oil crops was equivalent to 90% of the net increase in total harvested area for all crops (FAOSTAT 2012). Among oil crops, oil palm has expanded relatively faster than any othercrop over the past two decades, increasing from 6.16Mha in 1990 to 15.16Mha in 2009 (FAOSTAT; 3-year rolling averages). Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia and Malaysia, has overwhelmingly dominated this expansion, accounting for 7.23Mha (80%) of the 9 Mha total expansion.

Between 1990 and 2009, global palm oil production quadrupled, while soybean oil production doubled, and it is now the world’s leading traded vegetable oil. Continuing strong markets for vegetable oil projected over the coming decades will add pressure to further expand oil palm area. Nelson B. Villoria, Alla Golub, Derek Byerlee and James Stevenson. American Journal of Agricultural Economics (2013) 95(5)

Green Revolution research saved an estimated 18 to 27 million hectares from being brought into agricultural production
Abstract: New estimates of the impacts of germplasm improvement in the major staple crops between 1965 and 2004 on global land-cover change are presented, based on simulations carried out using a global economic model (Global Trade Analysis Project Agro- Ecological Zone), a multicommodity, multiregional computable general equilibrium model linked to a global spatially explicit database on land use. We estimate the impact of removing the gains in cereal productivity attributed to the widespread adoption of improved varieties in developing countries. Here, several different effects—higher yields, lower prices, higher land rents, and trade effects—have been incorporated in a single model of the
impact of Green Revolution research (and subsequent advances in yields from crop germplasm improvement) on land-cover change. Our results generally support the Borlaug hypothesis that increases in cereal yields as a result of widespread adoption of improved crop germplasm have saved natural ecosystems from being converted to agriculture. However, this relationship is complex, and the net effect is of a much smaller magnitude than Borlaug proposed. We estimate that the total crop area in 2004 would have been between 17.9 and 26.7 million hectares larger in a world that had not benefited from crop germplasm improvement since 1965. Of these hectares, 12.0–17.7 million would have been in developing countries, displacing pastures and resulting in an estimated 2 million hectares of additional deforestation. However, the negative impacts of higher food prices on poverty and hunger under this scenario would likely have dwarfed the welfare effects of agricultural expansion.
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Stevenson et al, 2013, green rev no land use change.pdf
New Entries to the IPNI Library
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 Entries to RM September 2014.pdfNew Entries to RM September 2014.pdf
IPNI SEAP in the Press
IPNI Southeast Asia Program has in the third quarter of 2014 disseminated the following press releases:
  • Newsflash (August): Oil palm conference in Bali, huge showcase for IPNI SEAP
  • Newsflash (August:): IPNI Brazil collaboration on Mg Symposium
  • Newsflash (September): Plantation Intelligence for oil palm sustainability
  • Newsflash (September): 2014 Scholar award recipients
  • Newsletter (October): Expanding IPNI-Cocoa Care program with JSC Uralkali support
  • Newsletter (October): To Increase oil yields from palms, you have to measure it

Click here to access IPNI SEAP press releases.
Upcoming Events
Executive Education – How to Effectively Engage Stakeholders in Frontier Markets
30 - 31 October 2014
London, UK
2nd China International Precision Agriculture and High-efficiency Utilization Summit
22-23 October 2014
Beijing, China
APSIM Oil Palm Training Workshop
27 - 29 October 2014
Indonesia (city to be determined)
How Business can Tackle Deforestation
28 - 29 October 2014
London, UK
National Seminar on Palm Oil Milling, Refining, Environment & Quality
3 - 4 November 2014
Kuching, Sarawak
2nd International Symposium on Magnesium
4 - 6 November 2014
São Paulo, Brazil
Oils and Fats International Congress
5 - 7 November 2014
Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia
Business and Human Rights: How to get beyond policy, manage risk and build relationships
10 November 2014
London, UK
2nd International Conference on Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia
12 - 13 November 2014
Manila, Philippines
Annual Roundtable of RSPO Meetings on Sustainable Palm Oil
17-20 November 2014
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
World Coffee Leaders Forum
19 - 22 November 2014
Seoul, Korea
South-East Asia Corporate Sustainability Forum
21 November 2014
Bali, Indonesia
Seminar on Oil Palm Mechanisation
24 - 26 November 2014
Bangi, Selangor
Forum on Sustainable Development
24 - 26 November 2014
GAPKI 10th Indonesian Palm Oil Conference and 2015 Price Outlook
26 - 28 November 2014
Bandung, Indonesia
Food and Nutrition Security, Agriculture and Climate Change
7 December 2014
Lima, Peru
1st International Conference on Asian Highland Natural Resources Management
7-9 January 2015
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bio-Markets Asia
27 - 29 January 2015
Jakarta, Indonesia
The Abu Dhabi Corporate Sustainability Leadership Forum
February 2015
Abu Dhabi
How Business Can Tackle Deforestation
March 2015
Washington DC, USA
Sustainable Cotton Forum
March 2015
London, UK
Argus FMB Asia Fertilizer 2015
15-17 April
Beijing, China
2nd Asia Choco Congress 
21 – 23 April 2015 
Sustainable Food Lab 2015 Summit
8 - 12 June 2015
The Netherlands
International Plant Protection Congress
24-27 August 2015
Berlin, Germany
MPOB International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2015
6-8 October 2015
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
Moringa Symposium and Congress “Moringa: a decade of advances in research and development”
19-22 November 2015
Manila, Philippines
Deadline for abstract submission: December 31, 2014
ILRI: Program Leader – Feed and Forages Biosciences
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Program Leader to establish and lead its new Feed and Forages Biosciences program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This leadership position is part of the Biosciences Directorate. The position is available for 3 years with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding. Click here for more information. Application deadline: 16-October-2014
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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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