08 Jan 2018

IPNI SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2017 - 4

Quarter 4, 2017


Rice - Projection of nutrient removals and nutrient requirements by rice production in Southeast Asia up to 2030

Rice is the most important annual crop in Southeast Asia (SEA), based on crop acreage (Table 1). Rice production in eight countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, requires over 40% of agricultural land in this region. At the same time, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar are among the world’s Top 10 rice producers. In 2016/2017, approximately 160.74 million ha of rice was harvested worldwide, 29% of which in Southeast Asia, contributing 25.3% to global rice production (725.73 million tons) (USDA 2016/2017). Graph 1 shows the land use for rice in SEA from 2000/2001-2016/2017.

Prediction Scenario
Kruse (GHI, unpublished data, 2009) projected that global rice production will increase by 46%, from 2000 (608.83 million tons) to 2050 (888.89 million tons). This prediction seems sensible as global rice consumption does not change much from year to year, and human consumption patterns tend to shift from traditional staple food to higher value sources of protein and carbohydrates with increased income (Timmer et al., 2010). Under such scenario, we assume that SEA countries continue to contribute 25.3% to the global rice production until 2050, and the contribution from SEA to the global demand will be 224.61 million tons (2016 as base year). This implies that in 2030, 206 tons of rice are required from SEA. We make a further assumption that rice land area in SEA remains constant from 2016 until 2030, and annual yield of rice improves moderately over the years (see next section). Then we estimate the future demand of fertilizer nutrients up to 2030 by looking at the annual yield improvement scenario with the aim of producing at least 206 million tons of rice in 2030.

Yield Improvement until 2030
In order to estimate and quantify yield improvements we use data from the literature and calculate compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from historical yields (USDA data). A review by Fischer et al. (2014), showed an annual rate of change of yield from 1991 to 2010 of 0.7% for Indonesia, 1.7% for Myanmar, 1.6% for Thailand and 2.2% for Vietnam. Meanwhile the CAGR for rice yield from 1991-2016 was 2.4% for Cambodia, 0.31% for Indonesia, 1.17% for Laos, 1.06% for Malaysia, -0.14% for Myanmar, 1.13% for Philippines, 1% for Thailand and 2.53% for Vietnam. We then estimate the annual growth of yield by averaging values obtained from literature reviews (Fischer et al., 2014) and the percentage obtained from CAGR. Accordingly, annual rice grain yield will improve moderately by 0.75% in Indonesia, 1% in Malaysia and Myanmar, 1.25% in Laos, Philippines and Thailand, and 2% in Cambodia and Vietnam. Therefore, an estimated 206.43 million tons of rice will be produced in 2030 without any land expansion.

Nutrient Requirements until 2030
In order to estimate the nutrient requirements of rice under this scenario we use the reciprocal internal efficiency (RIE) and nutrient harvest index (HI) from Buresh et al. (2010) to obtain the total amount of nutrients taken up to produce 1 ton of rice grain yield. Accordingly, rice removes 10.02 kg of N, 2.21 kg of P and 2.83 kg of K with each ton of grain. For 2016, we calculate the fertilizer nutrient requirements to replace the removed nutrients based on current fertilizer use efficiencies (FUE) of N=35%, P=25%, K=35%. We expect technology advancement and better crop management practices to improve in FUE by 5, 10, and 15% in 2020, 2025, and 2030, respectively (IPNI estimation).

The amounts of nutrients removed by rice grain production in 8 SEA countries are given in Table 2. In 2016, an estimated 0.028-0.571 million tons of N, 0.006-0.126 million tons of P and 0.008-0.161 million tons of K was removed. In 2020, between 0.029-0.583 million tons N, 0.006-0.128 million tons P and 0.008-0.165 million tons K will be removed; in 2025, between 0.030-0.597 million tons N, 0.007-0.132 million tons P and 0.009-0.169 million tons K; and in 2030, between 0.032-0.612 million tons N, 0.007-0.135 million tons P and 0.009-0.173 million tons of K. These values will be higher if nutrient removal in the rice straw is included.

The amount of fertilizer nutrients to replace removals and produce the needed rice is given in Table 2 for the individual countries. In 2020, estimated fertilizer country requirements are between 0.08-1.59 million tons N, 0.02-0.49 million tons P and 0.02-0.45 million tons K; in 2025: between 0.08-1.55 million tons N, between 0.02-0.48 million tons P and between 0.02-0.44 million tons of K; meanwhile in 2030: between 0.08-1.52 million tons N, between 0.02-0.47 million tons P and between 0.02-0.43 million tons K. For all eight countries, estimated 5.139 million tons of N, 1.587 million tons of P and 1.451 million tons of K are required in 2030.

Graph 1: Historical value of land use for rice in SEA from 2000/2001-2016/2017

Table 1: Top 10 key crops for SEA in terms of acreage and their corresponding production in 2016/17

* For annual crops such as maize, rice, cassava and sugarcane, double-cropped areas are counted twice.
a Data from USDA 2016/17 for rice, oil palm and maize; FAO 2014 for rubber, coconut, cassava, vegetables and cocoa
b Data from FAO 2014 for sugarcane and coffee (since USDA does not provide the data for area harvested
c Data from USDA 2016/17 for rice, oil palm, maize, sugarcane and coffee; FAO 2014 for rubber, coconut, cassava, vegetables and cocoa
d USDA only provide oil palm production in term of oil, therefore we estimate the FFB production based on average of 20% OER
e USDA only provide cane sugar production, therefore we estimate the sugarcane biomass production with average of 11.5% of sugar yield from cane

Table 2a - b: Nutrient removal with rice grains and fertilizer nutrient requirement based on moderate improvement in annual rice yield and fertilizer use efficiencies from 2016-2030



f Estimation of nutrient removal values based on RIE and nutrient HI from Buresh et al. (2010), N=10.02, P=2.21 and K=2.83(all in kg per ton of rice grains)
g Estimation of fertilizer requirement in order to replace the fertilizer being removed by rice grains based on fertilizer use efficiencies of N=35%, P=25%, K=35% for 2016 and modest improvements of 5, 10, and 15% for 2020, 2025, and 2030 respectively (IPNI estimation, 2017).

    • Buresh, R.J., M. F. Pampolino, C. Witt (2010). Field-specific potassium and phosphorus balances and fertilizer requirements for irrigated rice-based cropping systems. Plant Soil, 335:35-64.
    • Kruse, J. (2009). Global demand for agricultural commodities. Unpublished article. Washington, DC: The Global Harvest Initiative.
    • Timmer, C.P., S. Block, D. Dawe (2010). Long-run dynamics of the rice consumption, 1960-2050. In Pandey, S., D. Byerlee, D. Dawe, A. Dobermann, S. Mohanty, S. Rozelle, B. Hardy (Eds), Rice in the global economy: Strategic research and policy issues for food security, pp.139-173. Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute.
    • USDA (2017) US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service. https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/app/index.html#/app/advQuery . Accessed 8 December 2017.

IPNI SEAP presentation at PIPOC 2017
IPNI SEAP participation at the International Palm Oil Congress event, PIPOC 2017, 14 – 16 November in Kuala Lumpur, included a presentation by C. Donough on Nutrient Use Efficiency of Oil Palm (Authors: T. Oberthür, C. Donough, H. Sugianto, Y.L. Lim and M.S. Tan). Click here to view the presentation.


Palm Oil: Malaysia 2018 Output To Rise By 2.5%
“Palm oil production in Malaysia, the world’s second largest producer, is expected to increase by 15.5 per cent this year and will grow by 2.5 per cent in 2018, the government said. Malaysian output is forecast to rise to 20 million tonnes this year and to 20.5 million tonnes in 2018 due to better yields and expansion into matured areas, according to forecasts given in the government’s annual economic report released ahead of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement of the 2018 budget.”

Source: PM News, December 6, 2017

FGV Driving Sustainability Awareness Throughout Its Palm Oil Value Chain
“FGV has implemented a structured, systematic and customised training programme for its key stakeholders such as Felda employees, Felda settlers (smallholders), third party Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) suppliers and FGV contractors. The objectives of the training programme are in areas of Good Agricultural Practices, improving labour conditions and other sustainability practices throughout FGV’s palm oil value chain.”

Source: Felda Global, December 5, 2017

Thailand Board of Investment Introduces New Measures to Modernize Agricultural Sector
“Agriculture has long been the backbone of Thai economy and remains so today. Looking ahead while the country is transforming itself into an advanced economy, the Thai government is modernizing the country's agricultural sector through various investment promotional schemes and development policies to increase agricultural sector's efficiency and competitiveness.
Thanks to the country's rich resources, agriculture has been a major activity that feeds the countries for centuries. Thailand has been famous for crops like rice and rubber for a long time. For decades, the agricultural sector has contributed slightly over 10 per cent of the country's GDP, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board. However, most farms continue to use traditional ways of farming, resulting in low productivity and income but having high cost. If this issue is well addressed, the sector's potential will be improved.”

Source: Earth Imaging Journal, November 27, 2017

New Map of Worldwide Croplands Supports Food and Water Security
“A new map was released detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet, helping to ensure global food and water security in a sustainable way. The map establishes that there are 1.87 billion hectares of croplands in the world, which is 15 to 20 percent—or 250 to 350 million hectares —higher than former assessments. The change is due to more detailed understanding of large areas that were never mapped before or were inaccurately mapped as non-croplands.”

Source: Asian Surveying & Mapping, November 20, 2017

Output of Tomato, Cassava Up in Q3
“Favorable planting conditions allowed vegetable farmers, such as those planting tomato and cassava, to increase their production in the third quarter by as much as 4 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). In its latest report, titled ‘Performance of Agriculture,’ the PSA said mongo production during the July-to-September period reached 1,500 metric tons (MT), 4.17 percent higher than last year’s 1,440 MT.”

Source: Business Mirror, November 16, 2017

WFP and ICIMOD Renew Agreement to Improve Food Security Monitoring in Nepal
“The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) recently launched a new online Food Security Information System to map and visualize patterns of food security, poverty and malnutrition in Nepal. This latest online system includes easy-to-read data regarding regular food security indicators, monthly food market prices, and interactive graphics that indicate levels of food security to the sub-district level.”

Source: Reliefweb, November 14, 2017

Report: Unsustainable Palm Oil Faces Increasing Market Access Risks – NDPE Sourcing Policies Cover 74 Percent of Southeast Asia’s Refining Capacity
“The palm oil industry’s transformation towards sustainability gained traction in 2013 when major Southeast Asian palm oil traders/refiners began to embrace ‘No Deforestation No Peat No Exploitation’ (NDPE) sourcing policies. Through such policies, these firms require their suppliers to refrain from clearing forests and peatlands for new oil palm plantations. However, unsustainable practices continue to take place and non-compliant palm continues to be produced, traded and consumed. One of the main reasons for this ‘leakage’ of unsustainable palm oil is that a segment of the refining market does not apply NDPE sourcing criteria. Insights in the market share and primary actors of this segment is crucial to understand both the risk that the sector transformation is halted, as well as the business risks for non-compliant plantation companies.”

Source: Chain Reaction Research, November 1, 2017

Small-Scale Cassava Growers Earn Big in the Philippines
“Samat Nasa has been farming cassava on the outskirts of Zamboanga City in the Philippines’ Mindanao region for over 30 years. Many farmers in the area grow this root crop because it is easy to maintain and can survive extreme weather. But because the Philippines is a predominantly rice-consuming nation, Nasa has only sold his harvests to a handful of local producers of panggi, a customary staple food made of grated cassava.”

Source: USAID, October 23, 2017

Asia Rice-Vietnam's Prices Up On Low Supply; Market Eyes Philippine Imports
“Low supplies boosted rice prices in Vietnam this week amid prospects of fresh purchase
interest from the Philippines, while deals with Bangladesh remained the sole bright spot for the otherwise subdued demand in top Asian exporters. ‘Supply is low after the summer-autumn crop was completely harvested, bringing prices up. Some sellers held back grains in an attempt to make larger profits,’ a trader in Ho Chi Minh city said.”

Source: Agriculture. com, October 12, 2017

Climate Change Is Making It Harder to Grow Rice
“Malaysian farmers are watching changing weather patterns threaten their staple crops, and switching to other crops might be the only answer. These shifts in weather patterns are spurring what once had seemed unimaginable: A reconsideration of rice as the central food in Malaysia's diet. While domestic consumption is about 2.8 million tons this year, the average local rice yield was 30 to 50 percent lower than its potential, according to Malaysian research.”

Source: MotherBoard, October 11, 2017

Indonesia Turns It Back on Vietnamese Rice as Crops at Home Flourish
“Indonesia’s rice imports from all destinations in 2017 are forecast to halve to 500,000 tons, based on USDA reports. Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and a major buyer of Vietnamese rice, has not returned to Vietnam for new purchases this year, while its overall 2017 rice imports are forecast to halve to around 500,000 tons thanks to better domestic production, according to industry reports.”

Source: Retail News Asia, October 4, 2017


Demographic Trends in Southeast Asia
Dr. Wei-Jun Jean Yeung of the National University of Singapore provides an overview of ASEAN’s population:
“Home to 640 million people in 2016, about 8.5% of the world’s total population, Southeast Asia has undergone tremendous demographic transformations over the past five decades. Despite common features shared in history and culture, diversity among these countries has always been part of the region’s defining characteristics.”

Source: ASEAN Focus, Issue 4: 10 -12 (Jul/ Aug 2017)

Young and Restless in ASEAN
Moe Thuzar outlines the socio-economic challenges facing the youth across the region:
“While ASEAN countries like Singapore and Thailand are facing ageing societies, the bulk of the region’s population are now in their working age, i.e., 15 to 64 years. This accounted for about 68% of ASEAN’s total population in 2016.
There are economic benefits to be reaped from a more youthful regional workforce and a burgeoning middle class…”

Source: ASEAN Focus, Issue 4: 13 (Jul/ Aug 2017)

Cocoa Agroforestry is Less Resilient to Sub-Optimal and Extreme Climate than Cocoa in Full Sun
Abstract: Cocoa agroforestry is perceived as potential adaptation strategy to sub-optimal or adverse environmental conditions such as drought. We tested this strategy over wet, dry and extremely dry periods comparing cocoa in full sun with agroforestry systems: shaded by (i) a leguminous tree species, Albizia ferruginea and (ii) Antiaris toxicaria, the most common shade tree species in the region. We monitored micro-climate, sap flux density, throughfall, and soil water content from November 2014 to March 2016 at the forest-savannah transition zone of Ghana with climate and drought events during the study period serving as proxy for projected future climatic conditions in marginal cocoa cultivation areas of West Africa. Combined transpiration of cocoa and shade trees was significantly higher than cocoa in full sun during wet and dry periods. During wet period, transpiration rate of cocoa plants shaded by A. ferruginea was significantly lower than cocoa under A. toxicaria and full sun. During the extreme drought of 2015/16, all cocoa plants under A. ferruginea died. Cocoa plants under A. toxicaria suffered 77% mortality and massive stress with significantly reduced sap flux density of 115 g cm-2 day-1, whereas cocoa in full sun maintained higher sap flux density of 170 g cm-2 day-1. Moreover, cocoa sap flux recovery after the extreme drought was significantly higher in full sun (163 g cm-2 day-1) than under A. toxicaria (37 g cm-2 day-1). Soil water content in full sun was higher than in shaded systems suggesting that cocoa mortality in the shaded systems was linked to strong competition for soil water. The present results have major implications for cocoa cultivation under climate change. Promoting shade cocoa agroforestry as drought resilient system especially under climate change needs to be carefully reconsidered as shade tree species such as the recommended leguminous A. ferruginea constitute major risk to cocoa functioning under extended severe drought. – I. Abdulai, P. Vaast, M. P. Hoffmann, R. Asare, L. Jassogne, P. Van Asten, R. P. Rotter, S. Graefe.

Source: Global Change Biology: 1 -14 (2017)

Experimental Validation of a New Approach for Rice Fertiliser Recommendations Across Smallholder Farms in China
Abstract: Inappropriate fertiliser applications have caused a series of environmental problems and threaten the sustainable production of rice in China. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a new approach, Nutrient Expert (NE), a nutrient decision support tool for rice (Oryza sativa L.). Experimental validation was carried out under field conditions from 2013 to 2015 at 211 sites in the main rice-growing regions of China. The results showed that, compared with current farmers’ fertiliser practices (FP) and soil testing (ST), the NE approach balanced nutrient application – decreased the nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) rates, and increased the phosphorus (P) rate – and improved grain yield, nutrient uptake, and fertiliser use efficiency. The NE treatment produced a 3.5–6.3% higher grain yield, 2.3–14.2% higher N, P, and K uptake in aboveground plant dry matter, and higher agronomic efficiency, apparent recovery efficiency (RE), and partial factor productivity of applied N and K, but not for P. In particular, the RE of the NE approach was greater by 12.2 and 8.4 percentage points for N, 3.7 and 2.9 percentage points for P, and 16.3 and 6.4 percentage points for K, compared with FP and ST respectively. The results obtained from field validation suggested that the NE approach could predict target yields; nutrient uptake of N, P, and K within specific ranges; and could be used as a tool to make fertiliser recommendation for rice in China. – F. Yang, X. Xu, J. Ma, P. He, M. F. Pampolino and W. Zhou.

Source: Soil Research 55: 579–589 (2017)


We have updated our SEAP Reference Database with references on the following topics: commodity markets, global economy and crops such as oil palm and cereals/grains. For a complete listing of these references, please click here.

We have also added two volumes on cassava cultivation edited by Dr. Claire Hershey formerly from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in our library:
    • Achieving Sustainable Cultivation of Cassava - Volume 1: Cultivation Techniques
    • Achieving Sustainable Cultivation of Cassava - Volume 2: Genetics, Breeding, Pests and Diseases


2018 Planters' Diary
Eleven agronomy-related articles have been inserted into the 2018 Planters’ Diary which are accessible from the IPNI SEAP website.
    1. Fertilizer management and nutrient use efficiency of oil palm
    2. Snapshot of agriculture in Bangladesh
    3. IPNI - Vietnamese nutrient knowledge alliance
    4. How Burmese farmers look at fertilizer use
    5. How cassava responds to fertilizer applications
    6. Scaling of fertilizer recommendations for maize
    7. Zero plots in commercial operations – essential for changing fertilizer management
    8. Bold approaches to fertilizer use: Estate Scale Experimentation
    9. Estimating land use and fertilizer requirements in Southeast Asia: the oil palm example
    10. Cacao fertilizer response to various environments in Indonesia
    11. Importance of erosion control for cassava fertilizer use efficiency

Press Release
IPNI Southeast Asia Program has disseminated the following press releases in the fourth quarter of 2017:
Published in Fertilizer Focus (November/December 2017 edition): Estate Scale Experiments (ESE): Continuously improving response to fertilizer in large commercial oil palm operations

Quick Glance
Shared some photos we love in "Photo of The Week" on our website: From 2018, this section will become "Photo of The Month".

LAST CALL: Subscription to the digital version of IPNI magazine Better Crops
From 2018, Better Crops will only be available in digital (electronic) format. New subscribers can sign up for this free publication and existing subscribers need to update us with your email address at http://www.ipni.net/subscribe. It will only take a minute to sign up or update your subscription. In addition to Better Crops, you can also register to receive notifications about other IPNI publications, webinars, and news. As always, your subscription is highly valued. Thank you!


International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC) 2017
13-16 November 2017
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

20–22 November 2017
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Webinar - Meeting Water Quality Nutrient Reduction Goals with Watershed and Farm-scale P Balances
10 January 2018
IPNI Staff Attending: Dr. Heidi Peterson

International Oil Palm Conference (IOPC) 2018
17–19 July 2018
Medan, North Sumatera, Indonesia

PALMEX Malaysia 2018
24–26 July 2018
Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia

Asia Palm Oil Conference (APOC) and PALMEX Thailand 2018
16–17 August 2018
Krabi, Thailand

Oils and Fats International Congress (OFIC) 2018
16–18 October 2018
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

World Sugar Conference 2018
17–18 October 2018
Bangkok, Thailand

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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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