The two Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) directly related to the objectives of FAO’s work programs are: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and ensure environmental sustainability. Of the ten key recommenddations put forward to meet these goals, the following call for interventions in the domain of plant nutrition:
- Spell out investments and policies focusing on rural productivity and environmental sustainability. (While plant nutrients contribute to increased production and productivity, they can also lead to environmental stress)
- Work closely with civil society organizations, the domestic private sector and international partners. (Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are key to inducing demand for fertilizers and improving fertilizer supply)
- Ensure a massive replenishment of soil nutrients on lands with nutrient-depleted soils worked by smallholder farmers, through free or subsidized distribution of chemical fertilizers, by no later than the end of 2006, supported by soil fertility-enhancing technologies such as agroforestry. (Crop production without nutrient replenishment degrades soils and hinders the achievement of production potentials; smallholder farmers can often not afford fertilizer)
- Conduct a massive training program for community-based workers to ensure expertise in soil nutrients, water supply and environmental management (Knowledge of sound soil and plant nutrient management at local level is essential).