26 Apr 2016

IPNI SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2016 - 1

Quarter 1, 2016


Oil Palm Training on 4R Nutrient Stewardship & Sustainable Yield Intensification
Conducted by IPNI SEAP in Penang, Malaysia, the courses below will run from May 9 to 13. Due to enthusiastic response, Course 1 has been filled shortly after the announcement. For Course 2, there are only very limited seats left. Do sign up fast to avoid disappointment.

Course 1 - 4R Nutrient Stewardship in Oil Palm (9-11 May 2016)
4R Nutrient Stewardship is a new innovative approach for fertilizer best management practices. This approach considers economic, social, and environmental dimensions of nutrient management and is essential to sustainability of agricultural systems. The concept is simple - apply the right source of nutrient, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place - but the implementation is knowledge-intensive and site-specific.

Course 2 - Sustainable Yield Intensification (12-13 May 2016)
Sustainable Yield Intensification is an opportunity for plantation operators and smallholders to increase yields in a profitable and environmentally sound manner. Commercially cultivated oil palm has the potential to yield up to 11 tons of crude palm oil (CPO) per hectare. Yet CPO yield in Malaysia and Indonesia averages between 3 and 4 tons per hectare, with the best private plantation groups achieving 6 to 7 tons per hectare. Finding new ways to raise productivity has become a key agenda for CPO producers.

For more details, please refer to the training brochure here.

New staff at IPNI Southeast Asia Program
We would like to extend a warm welcome to Jonathan Serrano and Mei Shih Tan who joined the IPNI SEAP team recently.

Jonathan Israel E. Serrano joined IPNI SEAP on 1 March 2016 as Nutrient Expert® programmer, based in the Philippine office. He is a Computer Science graduate with Java specialization track. Being a coding “WORA” (Write One Run Anywhere) enthusiast, the programs he wrote can be used in a variety of platforms such as Mac and PC, Android Phones/Tablets and even online as a Web app.

Mei Shih Tan joined IPNI SEAP on 1 April 2016 as Research Officer. She obtained her B.Sc. degree in Horticultural Science from Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2014. Prior to joining IPNI, she worked as a landscape maintenance supervisor cum nursery horticulturalist at Singapore's award-winning Changi Airport. Mei Shih's work in IPNI SEAP focuses on the research and development of a new project on "regional strategic Nutrient Intelligence® analyses". She is also coordinating the start-up and implementation of IPNI SEAP's webinar series.

For a complete list of IPNI SEAP staff, see http://seap.ipni.net/staff

Now available: Bahasa Indonesia translation of article on Plantation Intelligence®
The IPNI SEAP article from The Planter 08/2014 [Issue 90(1061):563-575] titled: Palm oil at the crossroads: the role of Plantation Intelligence® to support change, profit and sustainability co-authored by Simon Cook, Chin Huat Lim, S. N. Mohanaraj, Yohannes M. S. Samosir, Christopher R. Donough, Thomas Oberthür, Ya Li Lim, James Cock, and Suan Pheng Kam is now available in Bahasa Indonesia. Abstract and pdf files (2 of a 3-part series) enclosed below:

Absktrak: Dalam tulisan ini menggambarkan proses Plantation Intelligence® – suatu generasi analisis data yang dapat menggunakan data komersil perkebunan kelapa sawit. Plantation Intelligence® terdiri dari berbagai informasi dan pengetahuan yang dikembangkan bersama mitra yang menggambarkan status dan kecendrungan indikator kinerja utama. Analisis juga menjelaskan produktivitas dari input seperti pupuk dan tenaga kerja. Sehingga bisa memberikan acuan di dalam pengambilan keputusan dan menghindari kesalahan yang biasa dilakukan manager, akibat tekanan. Kami mengharap Plantation Intelligence® akan memberikan dampak yang baik bagi perusahaan yang menghendaki perubahan dan yang mampu mengelolah perubahan itu sebagai suatu proses yang “normal” di dalam management.

PI in Info Sawit Mar2016.pdfPI in Info Sawit Mar2016.pdf PI in Info Sawit Apr2016.pdfPI in Info Sawit Apr2016.pdf


Vietnam Plans to Gradually Switch From Rice to More Profitable Crops
Vietnam plans to gradually reduce rice production and switch to other more profitable crops, a plan that experts say makes sense since the country grows so much paddy and is a massive exporter of the unprofitable crop.

Source: Thailand Business News, April 4, 2016

Indonesia Launches $1M Peat Prize Mapping Competition
The Indonesian Peat Prize was launched in Jakarta as part of the Indonesian Climate Festival. President Jokowi’s speech at COP21 Paris in 2015 addressed the issue of peatland management as one of the key actions to reduce emissions and prevent forest and peatland fires. Echoing this spirit, BIG (Indonesian Geospatial Information Agency) is hosting a mapping competition entitled Indonesian Peat Prize. The goal of the Indonesian Peat Prize is not to make a perfect map of peatland, but to quickly find the most useful technology and methodology possible for mapping.

Source: Asian Surveying & Mapping, March 16, 2016

Philippine Cassava Production Up 27% in Q4
Production of cassava reached 762,057 metric tons (MT) in the fourth quarter of 2015, 27.1 percent higher than the 599,386 MT in the third quarter. Production was also up 6.2 percent compared to the 717,319 MT in the same period last year. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, growth came from the significant increase in areas harvested due to high demand and marketing assistance from San Miguel Corp. in Isabela, Cagayan, Quirino, Bukidnon, and Misamis Oriental.

Source: The Philippine Star, March 14, 2016

EU Market Could Tap Into Tapioca
Local agro-industrial conglomerate Mong Reththy Group is negotiating a new partnership that would send large-volume shipments of Cambodian cassava products to Europe for the first time. Mong Reththy, the group’s eponymous owner, said he met investors from Italy and Ivory Coast to discuss the possibility of producing tapioca – a starch extracted from certain varieties of cassava plants – for export to Italy, Spain and France. While a deal was not inked, he said one is expected soon, as the investors have expressed a sense of urgency.

Source: Cambodia National Trade Repository, March 9, 2016

Philippines to Pioneer Hybrid Rice Farming in Malaysia
The Philippines is set to pioneer hybrid rice farming in Malaysia this April as the country’s ASEAN neighbor seeks to raise self-sufficiency in rice production amid its limited rice area. Local hybrid rice and seeds producer SL Agritech Corp. will ship out a minimum of 100 kilos of seeds for an initial pilot testing where quarantine processes are already being arranged.

Source: The Philippine Star, February 8, 2016

Thailand to Focus on Food, Agriculture
Thailand will focus on development of food and agricultural products because the country has enough potential to further advance in the fields, said Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn. Concerned agencies will cooperate on further developing the two industries, said Ms Apiradi following a joint workshop held between the ministry and Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development on Wednesday.

Source: The Organization of Asia- Pacific News Agencies, January 22, 2016

Rice Sector Faces Long Struggle
Whatever steps the incoming government may be contemplating to spur investment, agricultural experts see little improvement in the short-term for rice cultivation. Even long-term development will be a drawn-out struggle, said Myanmar Rice Federation general secretary U Ye Aung.

Source: Myanmar Times, January 20, 2016

Oil Palm Expansion Scheme for Smallholders in the Philippines
The Philippine government is set to invest P 1 billion in oil palm planting by making seedlings available to smallholders who are expected to convert idle, underutilized agricultural lands, grass and brushlands to agro-forestation. This program has the capacity to lift more than 3000 farmers out of poverty and create new jobs in the process for many more.

Source: Global Oils and Fats Business Magazine Vol 12 (4) 2015


How Do the Heterotrophic and the Total Soil Respiration of an Oil Palm Plantation on Peat Respond to Nitrogen Fertilizer Application?
Abstract: Increasing oil palm (OP) plantation establishment on tropical peatlands over the last few decades has major implications for the global carbon (C) budget. This study quantified total and heterotrophic soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in an industrial OP plantation (7 year old, 149 trees ha- 1) on peat located in the eastern coast of the Sumatra Island (Jambi district), Indonesia, after two doses of nitrogen (N) fertilizer application at rates typical of local practice. The first dose applied in March 2012 (first Fertilization event FE) consisted of 0.5 kg urea per palm (equivalent to 371 kg N ha- 1 at the base of the palm which when extrapolated across the plantation was 35 kg N ha- 1) and the second dose applied in February 2013 (second FE) amounted to 1 kg urea per palm. Soil CO2 fluxes were measured using an infrared gas analyzer (IRGA) in dark closed chambers. The measurements were made daily from 1 day before to 7 days after fertilizer application. Soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and total soil respiration (Rs) were measured in trenched plots (where root respiration was excluded) and non-trenched plots, respectively. Concomitant with CO2 flux measurements, air and soil temperatures, rainfall and the water table level were measured. To estimate the fertilizer effect during the different times of the day, CO2 fluxes were monitored every 3 h during a 24 h period on days 2 and 3 after fertilizer application during the second FE. Shortly after fertilizer application, substantial pulses of CO2 were detected in the IRGA chambers where the fertilizer was applied. Even though the fertilized area represents 9.4% of the plantation area only, the impact of fertilizer application at the plantation scale on CO2 fluxes was noteworthy when compared to non-fertilized control treatments. The Rs was 36.9 kg CO2–C ha- 1 (7 days)- 1 greater in the fertilized than in the non-fertilized plots after the first FE but no enhancement was observed after the second FE (- 72.2 kg CO2-C ha- 1 7 days- 1). The Rh was 340.5 and 98.9 kg CO2-C ha- 1 (7 days)- 1 greater in the fertilized than in the non-fertilized plots after the first and second FE, respectively. The larger CO2 flux enhancement in Rh as compared to Rs may be the result of fertilizer uptake by the palm roots in the un-trenched plots, while in the trenched ones where roots were absent, microorganisms used the fertilizer to accelerate soil organic matter mineralization. Although the response of Rh to N addition and the priming effect were high as compared to results in the literature, the impacts were short-term only and may not have implications on the annual C budget of the plantation. - Comeau, L.-P.; Hergoualc'h, K.; Hartill, J.; Smith, J.; Verchot, L.V.; Peak, D.; Salim, M.A.

Source: Geoderma 268: 41-51 (2016)

From Observation to Information: Data-Driven Understanding of On Farm Yield Variation
Abstract: Agriculture research uses “recommendation domains” to develop and transfer crop management practices adapted to specific contexts. The scale of recommendation domains is large when compared to individual production sites and often encompasses less environmental variation than farmers manage. Farmers constantly observe crop response to management practices at a field scale. These observations are of little use for other farms if the site and the weather are not described. The value of information obtained from farmers’ experiences and controlled experiments is enhanced when the circumstances under which it was generated are characterized within the conceptual framework of a recommendation domain, this latter defined by Non-Controllable Factors (NCFs). Controllable Factors (CFs) refer to those which farmers manage. Using a combination of expert guidance and a multi-stage analytic process, we evaluated the interplay of CFs and NCFs on plantain productivity in farmers’ fields. Data were obtained from multiple sources, including farmers. Experts identified candidate variables likely to influence yields. The influence of the candidate variables on yields was tested through conditional forests analysis. Factor analysis then clustered harvests produced under similar NCFs, into Homologous Events (HEs). The relationship between NCFs, CFs and productivity in intercropped plantain were analyzed with mixed models. Inclusion of HEs increased the explanatory power of models. Low median yields in mono-cropping coupled with the occasional high yields within most HEs indicated that most of these farmers were not using practices that exploited the yield potential of those HEs. Varieties grown by farmers were associated with particular HEs. This indicates that farmers do adapt their management to the particular conditions of their HEs. Our observations confirm that the definition of HEs as recommendation domains at a small-scale is valid, and that the effectiveness of distinct management practices for specific micro-recommendation domains can be identified with the methodologies developed. – D. Jiménez; Dorado, H.; Cock, J.; Prager, S.D.; Delerce, S.; Grillon, A.; Bejarano, M.A.; Benavides, H.; Jarvis, A.

Source: PLOS One (2016)

Switching on Farm Innovation
The Autumn 2016 edition of the Australian Farm Institute’s Farm Policy Journal contains a series of papers discussing solutions that aim to address the challenge of finding ways to invigorate innovation and productivity growth to stay competitive internationally.

Source: Farm Policy Journal, Vol 13 (1) (2016)

Can Improved Agricultural Practices Help Combat Climate Change?
More than half of global non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are accountable to agriculture. According to a new research study published in the Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, this figure is set to rise in the next two decades, especially in developing countries. However, by analyzing US Environmental Protection Agency data and models, the authors have projected that there is significant potential for the agricultural sector to provide relatively low-cost opportunities for reducing GHG emissions by 2030.

Source: Sensors & Systems, March 17, 2016

Sustainability Standards for Palm Oil: Challenges for Smallholder Certification Under the RSPO
Abstract: This article investigates the integration of smallholders into voluntary certification schemes, exemplified by smallholder certification under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in Indonesia (RSPO). It identifies the main barriers to the adoption of standards by smallholders and the specific compliance challenge in the context of RSPO smallholder certification, thereby contributing to the growing literature on the effectiveness of voluntary sustainability standards. It discusses findings on smallholder certification, focusing on antecedent variables as potential adoption determinants at the level of smallholders, smallholder organization, and the institutional context. The empirical findings suggest that smallholders, and specifically independent smallholders, often lack both the information and the degree of organization that certification demands. The article also identifies the most important compliance challenges for independent smallholders in relation to land titles, seedlings, pesticide usage, fertilization, and documentation and outlines how smallholders can be supported so that they can be included in certification schemes. – C. Brandi; Cabani, T.; Hosang, C.; Schirmbeck, S.; Westermann, L.; Wiese, H.

Source: J. Environment & Development 0 (0): 1 -23 (2015)

Mapping Rice Yield and Its Fertilizer Response at Provincial-scale in Takeo, Cambodia
Abstract: Our objective was to identify responsive areas for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertiliser use on rice (Oryza sativa L.) within Takeo province from trial results obtained at 2336 sites. Regression tree analysis identified in order of decreasing importance the following factors which explained the variation in yield from on-farm experiments: season, location, fertiliser, soil type. Semi variograms of the same data set indicated that a maximum spread of 12 km in datum points was required to map yield across the province. Separating the results into N response classes decreased the maximum spread of datum for mapping to only 8 km. The maps generated indicated areas in which response to fertiliser is more or less likely. Whereas P responses were predicted to be relatively uniform across the province, N and K responses were more varied. Results suggest a very strong positive response to N, particularly on the central-west of the province. They also suggest negative effects of high N rates on the most fertile soils (Kbal Po, Krakor) in the east of Takeo, and in the Prateah Lang and Koktrap soils in the flooded areas of the south east of Takeo. At the provincial scale, the maps identified areas that can be used to target extension effort to where it is likely to be most effective, and areas where further research is needed to clarify reasons for poor responses. This should enhance the strategic planning capability for delivery of extension services and fertiliser inputs. – R. W. Bell ; Pracilio,G.; Cook, S.; Ros Chhay and Seng Vang

Source: Cambodian J. of Agriculture Vol 7 (2) (2006)


We have also updated our SEAP Reference Database with references dealing mainly with the following topics: oil palm, banana, cocoa and coffee. For a complete listing of these references, please click here.


2016 Planters' Diary
This handy diary features short agronomy-related fact sheets. Topics include the importance of potassium in several crops, sustainable oil palm intensification, crop nutrition development in Myanmar, fertilizer optimization for cocoa and the impact of El Niño. Access these articles at http://seap.ipni.net/article/SEAP-3134

An Introduction to IPNI Best Management Practice Process
IPNI Oil Palm BMP process, supported by Plantation Intelligence® and Estate-Scale Experimentation, is a diverse set of plantation management practices that use in-field experiments to obtain customized intervention activities. A viable strategy to raise crude palm oil (CPO) productivity, a CPO producer will be able to get higher yields and maximize the potential of their crop. Find out more at http://seap.ipni.net/article/SEAP-3152

Field Handbooks: 4R Nutrient Management of Key Crops in Myanmar
A series of field handbooks has been developed for major crops such as oil palm, rice, sugarcane, cassava, rubber, mango, watermelon and table grapes. The handbooks introduce the concept of 4R Nutrient Stewardship - which defines the right source, rate, time and place for fertilizer application to produce the economic, social, and environmental outcomes desired by all stakeholders. See the Myanmar handbook series at http://seap.ipni.net/topic/handbook


IPNI Oil Palm Training: 4R Nutrient Stewardship in Oil Palm
9-11 May 2016
Penang, Malaysia

IPNI Oil Palm Training: Sustainable Yield Intensification in Oil Palm
12-13 May 2016
Penang, Malaysia

22nd MPOB Transfer of Technology Seminar and Exhibition 2016
2 June 2016
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

12th Incorporated Society of Planters (ISP) National Seminar (NATSEM) 2016
Theme: Factors Impacting the Competitiveness of the Palm Oil Industry
18-20 July 2016
Sarawak, Malaysia

PALMEX Thailand / Asia Palm Oil Conference 2016
18-19 August 2016
Surat Thani, Thailand

Sixth IOPRI-MPOB International seminar
27-29 September 2016
Medan, Indonesia

Oils and Fats International Congress 2016
19-21 October 2016
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Partnership Meeting and Cocoa Sustainability Trade Fair
26-27 October 2016
Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

26th International Conference on Coffee Sciences (ASIC 2016)
13-19 November 2016
Kunming, China

7th International Nitrogen Initiative Conference (INI2016) - invitation for submissions
4-8 December 2016
Melbourne, Australia

International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC) 2017
14-16 November 2017
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

To see the complete Calendar of Events, visit http://seap.ipni.net/calendar

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The IPNI SEAP Quarterly Newsletter aims to provide information on recent activities of our program and selected news on regional developments.
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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 IPNI SEAP Quarterly 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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