IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Editorial: e-ifc No. 23, June 2010

Editorial

Coffee is a major crop in countries of Central America.
Coffee is a major crop in countries of Central America. IPI with the Soil Sci. Soc. of El Salvador (ASCS) conducted a symposium titled Importancia del Manejo del Suelo y el Potasio en el Desarrollo Agricola Sustentable de Centroamérica y el Caribe.
Photo by IPI.

Dear readers,

FAO recently published global cereal production estimates for 2010, which states that 2,286 million tonnes of cereals will be harvested in 2010, increasing by 1.5 percent from last year and similar to the record levels of 2008. The forecasted increase in production will come from "developing countries", where an increase of 4.8 percent is predicted over the 2009 harvests, while at the same time there will be a 2.4 percent drop in production in "developed countries". Of course, these predictions will ultimately depend on climatic conditions in the coming months. However, the fact that in some African countries (particularly in Central and Eastern Africa) the increase over 2009 will be around 8 percent is an encouraging forecast. Let us hope that the weather will not negatively impact on this much needed improvement.

Extension is high on the international development agenda but making a real, substantial improvement in this area is not an easy task. Two interesting publications, which provide some interesting insights, were recently released by the World Bank and FAO (see more on page 25). We at IPI are also striving to increase and enhance our activities in this vitally important area; nevertheless quite a complicated challenge.

In this issue of e-ifc you will find the second part of a report from Sudan (the first was published in the previous edition of e-ifc) which provides further analysis on the untapped potential for Sudanese agriculture. We also feature a report from India on the supply and balance of soil potassium after twenty years of continuous wheat and sorghum cropping. Potassium concentration in soil as affected by the inputs (potash fertilizer, irrigation water) and outputs (offtake by the crop) is a major focus of this article. From China, we present a report on the effect of efficient use of potassium on rape seed in one of the major regions for this crop - the Yangtze River Valley (YRV), where productivity and nutrient use efficiency is highlighted. In addition, as always, we bring you updates of events, new scientific publications and more.

I wish you all an enjoyable read.

Hillel Magen
Director