Posted 25 March 2014. PMN Crop News.
Nutrient Expert Chosen as Best Innovation for Improving Rural Livelihood in Bihar
Source: International Plant Nutrition Institute Press Release. www.ipni.net
Norcross, Georgia (February 6, 2014)--Nutrient Expert® for South Asia, a fertilizer decision support tool developed by International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) in collaboration with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), has been chosen as the best innovation in the Information and Communications Technology, or “ICT Solutions” category at the Bihar Innovation Forum II. This Forum is a one-of-a-kind platform that aims to identify, celebrate and scale-up innovations for the betterment of rural livelihoods in the State.
The Bihar Innovation Forum II initiated a pan-India call for proposals in April 2013, to identify best innovations in sectors like Agriculture, Livestock, Financial Services, Skill Development, Rural Energy, etc. Three best innovations in each category were chosen through a rigorous screening process spanning over eight months. The Nutrient Expert® tool was chosen for its scalability to impact the livelihood of millions of smallholder farm families in the region.
Nutrient Expert® tools for Maize and Wheat in South Asia, developed and validated over the last five years, provide location-specific fertilizer recommendation for individual farm fields. The tools were developed to provide critical input management support to nearly 90% of smallholder farmers of South Asia who do not have access to soil testing. The tools have been released for free public use in June, 2013 and have attracted regional stakeholders involved in production agriculture.
The tools are now being used by the National Agricultural Research System in India for precision nutrient prescriptions within a range of farm type. As a Nutrient Smart practice, the Nutrient Expert® tool is one of the important flagship interventions for the Climate Smart Villages (CSVs) under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in India to increase nutrient use efficiency and reduce environmental foot prints. In support of this tool, IPNI received competitive grants (awarded in 2012 and 2013) from the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE CRP) to study farmer typologies in east India, evidence of the positive impact of Nutrient Expert®, and related training. The tools are also helping the fertilizer industry in India to provide 4R compliant fertilizer decision support to their clients that provide the right source of nutrient at the right rate, right time, and right place.
The development and validation of the Nutrient Expert® tools involved partnership with several National Research Institutes, State Agricultural Universities, the fertilizer industry and numerous farmers of the region. IPNI celebrates the recognition of Nutrient Expert® as the best ICT solution for improving rural livelihood with all the stakeholders and partners that supported its development in different ways.