The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) has organised a workshop on the close of the project "Sustainable Soil Management for Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia."
Bangladesh's government and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) with the initiative of FAO launched the project in September 2019 with funding from the German Government to promote and support the use of Sustainable Soil Management (SSM) for nutrition-sensitive agriculture.
The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and the Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI) of the Ministry of Agriculture implemented the project, said a press release.
Md Sayedul Islam, secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, attended the workshop as the chief guest.
Florian Höllen, head of Development Cooperation of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Md Kamaruzzaman, director general of Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), and Kabir Ahamed, joint secretary and wing chief (UN) of Economic Relations Division (ERD), were among the special guest of the event.
Carolina Olivera Sanchez from FAO HQ, Italy overviewed the project, and Dr Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, executive chairman of BARC, was the chair of the event.
Robert D Simpson said, "Global soil degradation is estimated at 33 percent, and policymakers around the world are looking for solutions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to combat this challenge."
The goal of the "Sustainable Soil Management for Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia" project was to develop recommendations for SSM policy guidelines based on existing knowledge and a multidisciplinary approach to show the role of soil in human health.
The project activities included field demonstrations in three upazilas in Bangladesh, as well as a baseline survey of 600 farmers, 45 field demonstrations, awareness development training for 180 stakeholders, and soil doctor training for 450 farmers.
The German government prioritises soil protection and nutrition-sensitive agriculture. In 2022, Germany's Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) led a Communiqué on soil protection signed by 70 agriculture ministers. This communiqué, as well as the involvement of Germany's Minister of Food and Agriculture in the 10th anniversary of the Global Soil Partnership, emphasized the FAO's role in achieving global soil conservation.