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IPI, IPNI AND FAI roundtable


IPI, IPNI AND FAI roundtable

On 22 July 2013, a roundtable was organised by the International Potash Institute (IPI) in collaboration with the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and the Fertiliser Association of India (FAI). The topic of the 2013 event, which was hosted by the FAI, was ‘Balanced Nutrition’.

The roundtable was inaugurated by Mr. Satish Chandra, Director General of FAI; Hillel Magen, Director of IPI; and the Guest of Honour Dr. GurbachanSingh, Chairman of the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board.

The opening session focused on the need to have balanced crop nutrition to boost agricultural production and quality, as well as to sustain soil fertility.

The technical session was attended by distinguished scientists from various research institutions including the Delhi-based Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Meerut-based Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research (PDFSR) and Bhopal-based Indian Institute of Soil Science (IISS). Experts from various Indian corporates also participated, including Neeraj Awasthiof Uralkali, B.B. Singhof Tata Chemicals Ltd. (TCL), S.V. Kovreof the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO), Anand Panday of DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd. (DSCL), Dr. Bhism Pal of Indian Potash Ltd. (IPL), Dr. Naresh Prasad of Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited (CFCL) and Dr. Arun Nair of Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited.

Afterwards during technical session Dr. Muneshwar Singh, Project Coordinator for Long Term Fertility Experiments at IISS, presented a detailed response of LTFE and concluded by saying that potash fertilisers lead to an improved crop yield across the country, and as such there is need to readdress the recommendations in various soil orders.

Dr. V.K.Singh, Principal Scientist of DCSR, showcased an excellent study on the importance of potassium in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India for rice-wheat and maize-wheat cropping systems. He also emphasised increasing demand levels of potassium due to crop deficiencies in various locations. As part of an IPNI project, Dr. V.K. Singh has completed extensive research in the Indo-Gangetic Plains with a particular focus on potassium.

Dr. B.S. Dwivedi, Head of the Soil Science division of IARI, also pointed out that balanced nutrition is crucial to improve the efficiency of nutrient use, and that potassium nutrition plays a crucial role in achieving the nutrient use efficiency of nitrogen and sulphur. In a very detailed presentation, Dr. Dwivedi explained about the availability of nutrients, their efficiency and how they are affected by different factors. He also advocated site-specific nutrient management (SSNM).

Hillel Magen, Director of IPI, highlighted the role and importance of balanced nutrition, especially potassium nutrition, in bridging the gap of potential yield versus attainable and present yield levels of different crops in the Indian context. Mr. Magen reviewed the current recommendations of fertilisers in light of the outcomes of recent research and also advocated alignment of such fertiliser recommendations with government fertiliser policy in order to sustain agriculture productivity and soil resources.

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