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Hawassa University to host international symposium on balancing soil nutrients

Land degradation worldwide costs an estimated US$10.6 trillion every year and presents a huge challenge to future global food security. In sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia, soil nutrient-depletion is directly related, where fertilizer use and agricultural productivity rates are the lowest in the world. Many African countries use little or no potash fertilizers, which are crucial for balanced fertilization and sustainable cropping systems.

To address this challenge, over 70 international agricultural experts and researchers will gather at the Hawassa University, in the southern region of Ethiopia, for the 2nd annual symposium on the role of potassium in balanced fertilization from 24-25 November 2015.

The symposium, jointly organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, the International Potash Institute (IPI), and Hawassa University, will bring together key researchers and senior soil fertility experts to discuss the beneficial role potassium fertilizers can play in increasing crop production and quality in the region.

This focused and timely event will provide leading professionals from Africa, Asia and Europe with an opportunity to meet with Ethiopian researchers to analyze findings from soil fertility mapping, potassium research and the latest technology innovations in the sector.

“For the first time in its history of fertilizer use, Ethiopia has started to distribute potash fertilizers to farmers in areas where it is urgently needed. This is no less than a dream come true! And is an exciting story we intend to share with symposium participants,’’ says Professor Tekalign Mamo, until recently, adviser to the Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture, UN special ambassador for the 2015 International Year of Soils, and senior adviser (East Africa) for IPI.

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