IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Editorial: e-ifc No. 10, December 2006

Editorial

Dear Readers,

Nutrient management of Rice is the scope of this edition of e-ifc No. 10. Grown on some 153 million ha it provides food for millions of consumers as well as income and livelihoods to a myriad of farmers, most of them living in Asia. It is a story of success: Starting with a yield of 1.9 t/ha in 1961, it reached 2.7 t/ha in 1980 and these days can reach yields of 4 t/ha, demonstrating an increase in yield of almost one tonne every twenty years.

Omission plot: The way to demonstrate response of a specific nutrient.
Omission plot: The way to demonstrate response of a specific nutrient.

Without these yield increases the paddy area would have to be double of its present size to achieve the current output of nearly 600 million tonnes. In other words, increasing yields contributed substantially to safeguard of both the natural resources land and water.

I am extremely pleased to have received from scientists of the International Rice Research Institute, IRRI and from our regional office in Singapore a range of articles covering in eight chapters (see the Research findings of this edition) the following topics: (I) rice production and food supply in Asia, (II) concept and evaluation of ecological intensification of rice, (III) principles of site specific nutrient management (SSNM), (IV) practical fertilization recommendations for rice, (V) the need for potassium in fertilization of rice, (VI) description of a nutrient support system (NuDSS) for irrigated rice, (VII) a look at farmers' role in developing new fertilization strategies and finally (VIII), a description of the implications of nutrient requirements in rice towards 2020.

IPI started supporting research at IRRI on nutrient management in rice in 1998. In 2001, the 'RTOP' workgroup was established at IRRI with funds received from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), the Potash and Phosphate Institute (PPI-PPIC) and the International Potash Institute (IPI). Later on, four workgroups dealing with nutrients, water, weeds and post harvest formed the International Rice Research Consortium (IRRC). This long term global commitment is an excellent example of a fruitful, long term partnership in research and extension, between donors, research and industry. IPI is striving for similar cooperation in the future with more crops in other regions.

Countries in Asia with IPI projects mapped
Countries in Asia with IPI projects mapped

Special thanks are due to Dr. Roland Buresh, senior soil scientist at IRRI and Dr. Christian Witt, Director of the South East Asia Program (SEAP), PPI-PPIC and IPI for their contribution to the 'Research Findings' section in this edition of e-ifc.

The other sections of this e-ifc edition include new publications, events and more.

178 years ago, Carl Sprengel (1787-1859) conducted basic and high impact research on soil fertility and plant nutrition, which led to the formation of the theory of the 'Law of Minimum'. Today, this basic theory guides us to continue research for even more efficient and sustainable plant nutrition. As 2006 is closing, we look to the future and wish our readers a happy, prosperous, fruitful year in 2007.

Hillel Magen
Director