Rome, 28 July 2022 (TDI): The UN Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) is hosting a virtual Global Symposium on Soil Nutrition from 26-29 July.

The Symposium aims to assess the state of the art on the role of soil fertility and its role in producing enough high-quality, safe, and nutritious food for people, animals, and plants.

The Symposium has four main themes and these include the Status and trends of the global soil nutrient budget; Sustainable soil management for food security and better nutrition; Impacts of soil nutrient management on the environment and climate change; Governance of soil fertility/soil nutrients.

The Symposium also aims to incorporate science and policy to assess the state and challenges of soil fertility in relation to crop, animal, and human nutrition. It will also expose important knowledge gaps and offer the basis for discussion for the Symposium. participants


People taking part in the Symposium include officials from International organizations, scientists and practitioners, NGOs, Civil Society, land users, and also local people. Representatives from both industrial and private sectors will also attend the Symposium.

Some high-level speakers include WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, and Bangladesh Minister of Agriculture Muhammad Abdur Razaque. The President of IFAD Gilbert Houngbo and Garba Yahaya, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture of Niger will also be speaking at the meeting.

Other important speakers also include Penelope Wensley, the National Soil Advocate in Australia, and Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). The Chile Vice-Minister of Agriculture Jose Guajardo Reyes will also be speaking at the Symposium.

Also read : IAEA, FAO International Symposium commences

Keynote Speakers’ remarks

Gerda Verburg, the UN Assistant Secretary-General, and Coordinator of the Scaling Up Movement said, ”Soil health is as crucial for producing nutritious food, as nutritious food is for children during their first 1000 days. Just like good nutrition is the best investment in children’s physical resilience, their cognitive development, wellbeing, and future earning power, healthy soil should be the bedrock for every country’s food systems. A food system that will produce healthy and nutritious food in a climate resilient way, ensuring prosperity for all people involved”.

Zhang Fusuo, a Professor from China Agricultural University said, “Soil provides over 95% of food and mineral nutrition for human life. Rational utilization of soil nutrition management strategy can realize green agriculture with high productivity, high resource use efficiency and a reduced environmental impact”.

Vinisa Saynes Santillan, FAO Global Soil Partnership said, “The Fertilizer code should be a guiding tool to avoid the underuse, misuse, and overuse of fertilizers. The use of pulses, crop diversification, and rotation, as well as innovative solutions, should be promoted”.