14 Nov 2018

IPNI Southeast Asia Program reports on the Food of Gods and the King of Spices

November 14, 2018. Penang, Malaysia – In the most recent issue of Better Crops (Vol. 102, 2018, No. 4), IPNI’s Southeast Asia Program published articles about two unique crops. Both share three commonalities: they are considered royalty among plants and have the potential to produce significant value for those who grow them well, but a lot is still unknown on how to manage them well, including their nutrient management. The little understood royalties include Theobroma cacao, or food of the gods named by the Swedish natural scientist Carl von Linné, and Piper nigrum (i.e., pepper), the king of spices. Legend has it that Attila the Hun once demanded 3000 pounds of pepper in ransom for the city of Rome.

The first article ‘Response of Cacao Seedlings to Fertilizer’ by Oberthür et al. generates much needed knowledge for farmers who want to improve the nutrition of cacao seedlings. Researchers at IPNI combined a suite of good agricultural practices with fertilizer application and found that modest amounts of fertilizer applied to cacao seedlings in the nursery increased seedling growth and nutrient concentrations.

The second article ’Nutrient Uptake and Distribution in Black Pepper’ by Paduit et al. reviews and summarizes available information on nutrient requirements, uptake, and removal that are key parameters in designing a better and more effective fertilizer management strategy.

If the nutrient management of these regal crops have sparked your interest, the articles can be downloaded at:

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About IPNI
The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) is a not-for-profit, science-based organization dedicated to the responsible management of plant nutrition for the benefit of people. Through cooperation and partnerships with respected institutions around the world, IPNI adds its strength to agronomic research, education, demonstrations, training, and other endeavors. Best management practices for nutrient stewardship encourage the concept of 4Rs - applying the right nutrient source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. To learn more about IPNI, please visit: www.ipni.net

Dr. Thomas Oberthür, IPNI Director of Southeast Asia Program
Email: toberthur@ipni.net

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