14 Dec 2017

Season’s Greetings to Friends, Partners & Supporters of IPNI Southeast Asia

Dear Colleagues, Members, Friends & Supporters of IPNI, December has come again. Time to travel home, to Germany, for cold weather, Christmas celebration, togetherness with the family, and the time to thank all of you for your invaluable support given to our organization here in Southeast Asia.

Contemplating the events of a year almost complete, wisdom by Rainer Maria Rilke and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, two poets from my home, comes to mind. The year was not always easy, with IPNI losing important member companies. “There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult (Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)”. At the same time, new partnerships and new friendships were formed, lessening the impact of the losses.

We started to work with the Soil and Fertilizer Research Institute in Vietnam, and with the business partners of Canpotex Limited in Myanmar, and with Yara International and Proctor & Gamble in Malaysia, amongst others. If I just would have known before… “There are so many things about which some old man ought to tell one while one is little; for when one is grown one would know them as a matter of course (Rilke and Andreas-Salomé, A Love Story in Letters)”. These partnerships are beginning to generate benefits for farms, plantations and our industry, and will continue to do so in 2018, and beyond. “Believe that with your feelings and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it (Letters of Rilke)”.

Notwithstanding the setbacks, your support in 2017 enabled us to develop novel concepts and implement those that were developed earlier. With Wilmar International, for example, we advance the ideas of Estate Scale Experimentation for efficient management of oil palm nutrition in commercial operations. With PT Lautan Luas Tbk and Cocoa Care, we enable cocoa small-holder farmers in Indonesia to test and see the effects of nutrients on their crop. And with K+S Kali GmbH and Atlas Fertilizer Corporation we are starting to improve crop nutrition of sugarcane in the Philippines. “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do (Goethe, Maxims and Reflections)”. These and other ongoing endeavours will strengthen farmers’ and managers’ confidence in sustainable crop nutrition, the fundamental ingredient to responsible market development.

Our sincere appreciation for your ongoing support, for your interest in the work that we do in Southeast Asia. “And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things (Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke).”

Kind regards and all the best to you for 2018 from the team of IPNI in Southeast Asia,

Thomas Oberthür, Director