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Paper Number 8

Improving plant nutrient management for better farmer-livelihood, food security and environment*


* This country report has not been formally edited and the designations and terminology used are those of the author.

S. Htay Win
Land Use Division, Myanma Agriculture Service

Summary

Cereal crops such as paddy rice and maize are very important in Myanmar not only for local consumption but likewise for export. The country, being dominated by degraded soils and resource poor farming communities, is basically depend on indigenous nutrient of the soil and natural fertilizer for crop production. Most soils used for crop production were recorded to suffer from the deficiency of major (N and P) and micronutrients (zinc) and other secondary plant nutrients. Typical crop is paddy rice whose area covers about 62 percent of the net grown area. In 1992, soil samples were collected from different states and division of the country. Comprehensive analysis of their chemical contents done in Agricultural Research of Finland indicated nutrient imbalance and soil infertility. Hence, Land Use Division and Extension Division of Ministry of Agriculture cooperated in carrying-out the movement of Integrated Nutrient Management. In this regard, organic matter production sites are all over the country and are continuously encouraged by the government. On the other hand, the farmers are practicing compost making in various ways, such as pit, heap and efficient storage technique. The government has also been providing support for field testing of the efficacy of biofertilizers in collaboration with international institution.

 

1. Introduction

No one can survive without plant and soil meeting the essential needs of life being. Moreover, plants would need the soil to supply their nutrients for sustained growth and productivity. Allowing unsustainable extraction of native soil nutrients for plant growth and production will result to degradation of the soil and its environment. If the situation remained uncontrolled, the recovery of the loss of soil productivity may be difficult, if not irreversible, since it takes hundreds of years of natural parent material decomposition processes to develop a new productive soil.

Union of Myanmar is geographically situated on western side of Indochina peninsular, between 9º32' to 28º31' North Latitude and 92º to 101º East lngitude. It share 5 858 km of international borders with China, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Laos.

Total land area of Myanmar is 676 577 sq km, stretching for 2 276 km along the sea coast. The western, northern and eastern parts of the country are hilly regions with altitudes varying from 915 to 2 134 metres. It is the longest country on the main land of Southeast Asia.

Myanmar has tropical and subtropical climates with three seasons, rainy season (mid May to mid October), the dry cold season (mid October to mid February), and the hot season (mid February to mid May).

The average annual rainfall varied from 728 mm to 5 825 mm according to the different regions topography. The coastal and hilly regions received 1 045 to 5 825 mm and the central, dry zone, has 728 mm to 849 mm. The temperature differs according to season and region. Seasonal temperature variation lies from about 300 to 340 Celsius in hot season and 100 to 150 Celsius in cold season for dry zone area, central Myanmar. In contrast, in the hilly region such as Chin Hill and Shan Plateau has a maximum temperature of 290 Celsius and minimum of as low as 70 Celsius.

The total population is recently estimated at 55.14 million (2004-2005) with 2.02 percent growth rate. The population is concentrated in southern part of Myanmar especially in delta area. Around 75-80 percent of the total population at present is residing in rural areas and engaging with Agriculture, Livestock and fishery activities of which 43 percent of the rural population is land less farm labour. The country is blessed with rich water resources and favourable climate that make rice as the national crop and indicator of success in agricultural production.

Economically, Myanmar largely based on agriculture sector, the backbone of its economy contributed 44 percent of GDP (2002-03), 34 percent of total export earning (2001-02) and employ 61.4 percent (2002-03) of the labour force.

Geographically and topographically, Myanmar consists of the series of river valleys running from north to south as slope direction divided from each other by mountain ranges and plateau. The country is surrounded by a mountain barrier on the west north and east with a plateau at the eastern part. Four major rivers are Ayeyarwaddy, Chindwin, Thanlwin, Sittaung and Ayeyarwaddy forms a large delta that is food bowl of the country and strategic location to the major port of “City Yangon”.

Considering the topography, landform, climate, natural vegetation and agriculture, Myanmar is divided into nine natural regions such as:

Myanmar constitutes with 135 naional races living in 7 States and 7 Divisions. As Myanmar is Agriculture country, land and soil fertility related to the plant nutrient management and soil conservation is undoubted play vital roles. Especially, in crop growing areas, plant nutrient management is an important national programme not only for improving food security but also for the environmental protection and management. In Myanmar, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has laid down the following three main objectives:

2. Status of cultivable land area and soil type

Myanmar is rich with the natural resources such as favourable land, water sources etc. Total land area covers 67.69 million hectares, with arable lands limited to only 17.38 million hectares, or 26 percent of the total land area in Myanmar. The actual land utilization in Myanmar is shown in Table 1.

The country has altogether 24 different soil types classified by soil analysis of Land Use Division and related with adaptable crops as shown in Table 2.

Table 1. Land utilization of Myanmar (2003-2004)

Type of land

Area (million ha)

Percent

Agriculture Land (A + B)

17.38

25.67

(A) 

Net Sown

10.30

15.22

  Le 5.79

8.55

  Ya 2.97

4.40

  Kanin/Kyun 0.51

0.75

  Orchard 0.78

1.15

  Other 0.25

0.37

(B) 

Cultivable Land

7.08

10.45

  Fallow 0.51

0.75

 

Cultivable waste 6.57

9.70

(C) 

Reserved Forest

15.29

22.58

(D) 

Other Forest

18.16

26.84

(E)

Other land

16.86

24.91

Total

67.69

100.00

Table 2. Soil types of Myanmar

Sr. No.

Soil type

Area (mil. ha)

%

Suitable crops

1 Fluvisol 0.74 1.1

Pulses, Chilies, Onion, Vegetable, Groundnut, Paddy, Jute, Maize, Sesame

2 Gleysol 3.07 4.5

Paddy, Pulses, Sesame, Maize, Sugarcane, Vegetable. Groundnut, Cotton, Jute, Tobacco

3 Gley-Gleysol 0.56 0.8 Paddy, Jute
4

Gleysol-Calcaric

0.06 0.1

Paddy, Chilies, Pulses, Sorghum, Maize, Cotton

5

Ferralsol (plinthic)

0.59 0.9

Mango, Durian, Rubber, Coconut, Cassava, Pineapple, Banana, Oil palm

6

Ferralsol (rhodic)

9.97 14.7

Forest, Rubber, Pine-apple, Horticulture, Mango, Tea, Coffee

7

Ferralsol (xanthic)

8.36 12.4

Forest, Rubber, Pine-apple, Horticulture, Mango, Tea, Coffee

8

Gleysol (humic)

0.20 0.3

Mangrove Forest

9 Arenosol 0.24 0.4

Forest

10

Solonchak (thionic fluvisol)

0.04 0.1

Mangrove Forest

11

Gleysol (solonchak)

2.24 3.3

Paddy, Vegetable, Jute, Sugarcane, Pulses

12 Cambisol (d) 1.09 1.6

Upland crop, Horticulture, Maize, sesamum

13

Nitosol (cambisol)

0.53 0.8

Horticulture, Sesame, Groundnut

14

Catena of luvisol

1.78 2.6

Paddy, Chilies, Groundnut, Sesame, Cotton, Pulses, Sugarcane, Fodder, Sunflower, Sorghum, Vegetable

15 Vertisol 0.48 0.7

Paddy, Groundnut, Sesame, Pulses, Sunflower, Sugarcane, Chilies, Sorghum, Fodder

16 Acrisol 4.13 6.1

Upland rice, Coffee, Tea, Vegetables, Groundnut, Sesame, Maize, Pulses, Niger

17 Cambisol (h) 6.29 9.3

Forest

18 Cambisol (c) 1.37 2.0

Forest

19

Cambisol (orthic)

2.46 3.6

Forest

20

Cambisol (orthic)

2.19 3.2

Forest

21

Cambisol (gelic)

2.60 3.8

Natural reserved

22 Andosol 0.05 0.1

Forest

23

Lithosol (turfy primitive)

0.24 0.4

Forest

24

Lithosol (primitive crushed stone)

0.29 0.4

Forest

25

Not suitable for crop

18.12 26.8
 

Total

67.69

100

 

3. Status of crop area and crop production

The diverse agro-ecological conditions prevailing in the country have allowed Myanmar to grow over 60 different crops species of economic importance. Due to the population growth rate and market demand in Myanmar, government emphasize the extension of cultivable land and cropping intensity to increase crop yield per acre. Unfortunately, however, the national government did not provide equal and adequate attention to the judicious management of soil and environmental resources for sustainable plant growth and production. Yearly status of crop sown area and crop production is shown in Table 3.

4. Past and present situation of plant nutrient status

After 1948, mountains ranges with low population growth rate but with plenty of cultivable lands have used the shifting cultivation method. The central dry zone areas with optimal population growth rate used only one crop growing system and delta areas with large population growth rate used continuous rice growing system year after year.

These strategies resulted to soil erosion and degradation as well as increase the plant nutrient deficiency. However, at that time, land utilization and population growth rate are harmonious, hence the farmers could still use the fallow system.

In 1976, the government encouraged the implementation of production programmes that combined the use of high yielding varieties and increased application of chemical fertilizers. The immediate impact of the programme is the accelerated attainment of high rice yield per acre. However, in long-term, the high yields were not sustained because of incomplete provision of supply including appropriate amounts and combination of chemical fertilizers. This is explained by the fact that high yielding plant varieties take up large amount of nutrient from the soil and the inability to replenish

Table 3. Yearly status of crop area and production in Myanmar

Sr. No.

Crop Name

Sown area ha ’000

Production mt ’000

1988-89

2004-05

Increased (%)

1988-89

2004

Increased
(%)

1 Paddy 4 778 7 008 147 2.91

3.60

124

2 Wheat 135 103 76 1.07

1.34

125

3 Maize 138 307 223 1.60

2.67

167

4 Sorghum 177 230 129 0.72

0.79

109

5 Black gram 92 747 813 0.79

1.05

133

6 Green gram 50 787 1 586 0.51

0.91

180

7 Butter bean 34 55 163 1.12

1.06

95

8 Sultapya 35 63 181 0.66

1.03

154

9 Soybean 34 138 402 0.80

1.10

137

10 Chickpea 138 196 142 0.75

1.10

146

11 Pigeon pea 138 553

400

0.78

0.95

122

12 Garden pea 50 787

1 586

0.58

0.96

167

13 Groundnut 548 672 122 0.85

1.36

160

14 Sesame 1 212 1 513 125 0.22

0.38

170

15 Sunflower 212 533 252 0.73

0.69

95

16 Cotton 179 315 176 0.37

0.65

174

17 Jute 49 27 55 1.09

1.02

94

18 Rubber 78 199 256 0.37

0.57

155

19 Sugarcane 50 146 293 50.16

49.42

99

20 Coffee 14 14 103 0.47

0.55

118

21 Potato 14 34 133 8.76

13.04

149

22

Virginia tobacco

2 4 218 5.09

7.06

139

the lost nutrients causes severe nutrient depletion and the corresponding decline in crop production. This situation holds true for perennial crops. A case in point is the practice of low and unbalanced fertilizer use in a continuous cropping in he Upper Delta region and large uptake and export of plant nutrients resulted in a negative soil fertility budget and subsequent loss of soil fertility, decline in crop yields and deterioration of environmental quality.

5. Soil and plant nutrient relationship

Soils are an integral part of the ecological system which serves as natural resource base to support the production of our basic food and fiber needs. Soils are the fundamental medium for plant growth and basically act as the storehouse for the water and nutrients essentials for plant growth. In most instances, the natural supply of nutrient form the soil remained inadequate to meet the needs of the plant and which therefore threatened the overall supply of food and fiber needs of the country.

The improper cropping systems and cropping patterns which is centered on the increase in the crop density per unit area and mono-cropping to compensate for less arable lands caused the increasing depletion of soil fertility. The inability to formulate balanced fertilizer formula has wide and far reaching impacts on soil fertility characterized by serious nutrient deficiency and the increasing problems on micronutrient deficiencies as in the increasing incidence of serious zinc deficiency in a continuous irrigated rice growing in the country.

In Myanmar, cereal crop such as paddy and maize are very important not only for local consumption but for export. Pulses, oilseed crop, and major group in rice based cropping system accreting to the nature of crop, soil and weather relationship. Other crops needed to be improved to attain food security and raw materials for industry.

Rice requires a high N input and moderate to high soil fertility. Intensive rice cropping with 2-3 crop/year and larger yields results in a risk of depleting the soils reserves of phosphorus and potassium. The amount of nutrients, particularly P and K, are forever lost by the soil and will need to be considered in fertilizer formulation. Those however, stored in the rice straw that contained large amount of K and roots can be recovered as nutrient source depending on whether these are recycled or plowed back to field or removed from the field for use as animal feed, fuel, or other uses.

The optimal ratio of fertilizer N: P: K to be applied is site/soil specific as it depends on the yield target and the supply of each nutrient from soil indigenous sources. Optimal N, P and K uptake at harvest of modern rice varieties:

Plant part

N

P

K

Kg uptake/grain yield

Grain 9 1.8

2

Straw 6 0.8

13

G + S 15 2.6

15

A. Plant nutrient in crop in growing soil

In 1992, soil samples were collected from different states and division of the country. These samples were comprehensively analysed for their chemical contents in Agricultural Research of Finland. The results of the analysis showed that:

B. Nutrient loss

The nutrient loss and increasing soil infertility in Myanar are attributed to the following situations:

C. Nutrient deficiency

As the typical crop is paddy, its growing areas cover about 62 percent of the net grown area where major nutrient N, P deficiencies and minor nutrient Zn, S deficiencies are greater.

N deficiency

Nitrogen deficiencies occurs in all of the major rice growing regions area (Ayeyarwaddy, Bago, Mandalay Division and Dry Zone areas) caused by low fertilizer use efficiency (Losses from volatilization, denitrification, in correct timing and placement, leaching or run off and temporarily immobilized by soil microbes.) and very low organic matter content, poor indigenous N supply and alkaline and calcareous soils. In Myanmar, farmers utilize Urea fertilizer as sources of N. N affects all parameter of plant growth that contributes to yield. N reaction related to the demand for other nutrients such as P, K and S.

P deficiency

P deficiency rarely occurs in rice growing regions except acid soil, acid sulphate soil saline and sodic soil, peat in dry zone soil area and in coastal regions. Thus, deficiencies cannot affect economic yield target. Low indigenous soil P, supplying insufficient application of mineral P fertilizer, high P fixation capacity in soil or erosion losses and crop establishment in direct seeded rice growing areas where plant density is high and root system are shallow occurs P deficiencies. The farmers used to apply chemical fertilizer such as only Urea and do not apply P and K fertilizer in long-term, imbalance nutrient occurred and damaged the natural balance of soil and environment.

Zn deficiency

Zn deficiencies largely occur in major rice growing areas especially in irrigated areas. Zinc deficiency generally occur in intensively cropped soils, triple rice crop systems, calcareous, sodic, saline neutral, old acid sulphate soil, peat and sandy soil, highly weathered area. The deficiency is widely spread in rice growing areas of delta, dry zone and coastal area.

S deficiency

It occurs in dry zone area, many rural areas and irrigated rice-grown areas. In these areas, depletion of soil S is evident because of intensive cropping, use of S free fertilizer, small quantities of SO42- in irrigation waters and forest burning. Sandy soils are also prone to S deficiency.

Fe deficiency

Fe toxicity affects wide range of the rice growing areas, due to flood occurrence in long time, low pH, acid condition and poor root oxidation and large Fe+2 concentration. Common feature of Fe toxicity sites are poor drainage and low soil CEC in lowland rice growing areas and highland peat soils.

6. Activities of integrated nutrient management in Myanmar

Land Use Division and Extension Division of MOAI cooperated in carrying-out the movement of Integrated Nutrient Management. The activities include the following:

7. Production and utilization of chemical fertilizer and organic manure

Plants obtain their nutrients from two main sources of fertilizer application and indigenous nutrients in soil. These sources are necessary to be applied in balance ration to the soil. Chemical fertilizer is undoubtedly one of the agricultural inputs to increase the high yield when used in proper time, proper nutrient balance and combination and in adequate amount as needed by specific farm site and plant varieties.

In Myanmar, chemical fertilizer application for paddy crop started in 1956-1957. However, proper application was adopted in 1978 as part of the package of the IR 8, the first high yielding variety that supports the Green Revolution campaign. After 1978, farmers widely used chemical fertilizer because of the proven good response to the applied chemical fertilizer by high yielding rice varieties. Government encouraged the farmers to use the chemical fertilizer by subsidizing the prices and by constructing three (3) Urea Processing Plants with the planned production of about 300 thousands tonnes per years.

Table 4 shows that the highest utilization of chemical fertilizer reached the level of about 415 thousand tonnes in 1985 and 1986. This trend was attributed to the implementation of the Special High Yield (SHY) Programme adopted by each township in Myanmar. However, after 1986, utilization of chemical fertilizer descended because inability to sustain the support for SHY programme. In 1991-1992 with the adoption of summer rice programme, the fertilizer utilization resumed the positive growth. However, due to the high fertilizer prize, fertilizer utilization once again declined after 1995-1996.

Table 4. Utilization of chemical fertilizer in Myanmar

Year

Rice
sown area
000 ha

Fertilizer use in rice cultivation
mt (’000)

Table equivalent nutrient
mt (’000)

Urea

TSP

Potash

Others

Total

N2

P2O5

K2O

Total

1985-86 4 907 288

103

24

415

132

47

14

193

1991-92 137

22

2

161

63

10

1

64

1996-97 5 880 163

50

23

27

263

79

27

16

122

1997-98 5 789 94

19

1

3

117

43

8

1

52

1998-99 5 761 124

9

3

136

57

4

2

63

1999-2000 6 391 156

33

8

197

72

15

5

92

2003-04   157

98

10

205

72

45

6

123

Source: MAS planning division (1999-2000).

8. Domestic production of fertilizer

Myanmar established 3 state own factories, which can produce capacity of 425 000 tonnes of Urea per annum, was constrained by lack of utilities and cost of power generation, which limit the factories to operate at an annual average of only 46 percent of its capacity. Table 5 shows yearly domestic production of Urea.

Table 5. Domestic production of Urea in Myanmar

No.

Location

Year
established

Capacity
thousand
tonne/annum

Capacity
utilization (%)
1993-94

1

Sale
(Magwe Division)

Plant A 1970
Plant B 1984

70
85

65

2

Kyunchaung (Magwe Division)

1970 70

57

3

Kyawzwa (Magwe Division)

1985 200

59

 

Total

 

425

46

  Notes: Capacity initialization is based on 330 days.
  Source: Agro-chemical News in brief, vol. XVII, No. 3. 1994.

9. Fertilizer import

Since 1990, the government of Myanmar has initialized trade liberalization policies. Owing to this policy, the government and private sector imported various fertilizers in 2003-2004 shown in Table 6.

10. Fertilizer distribution

After 1990, with initiation of trade liberalization policies, the private sector participated and competed with government agencies (e.g. Myanmar Agriculture Service, MAS) in the fertilizer procurement and distribution. For distribution of fertilizer, MAS was holding its role because of its storage facilities and agricultural extension staffs who could reach the grass root level of farmers. Moreover, sometimes MAS’s fixed prices were cheaper than that of private sectors.

Table 6. Fertilizer import (2003-04, metric tonne)

Sr. No.

Type of fertilizer

Border trade

Normal trade

Total

1 Urea

109 506

47 979

157 485

2 T-Super

78 255

19 500

97 755

3 Potash

205

10 000

10 205

4 Compound

25 372

7 516

32 888

5

Ammonium Nitrate

4 159

4 159

6

Ammonium Sulphate

435

13

448

7 Foliar Spray

138

138

8 Others

440

440

At present, the private fertilizer trade grows significantly in Myanmar. The local traders mainly import Urea fertilizer from Qatar, Iran and Indonesia and phosphates fertilizers from the neighbouring counties like People’s Republic of China and Thailand. Private entrepreneurs put up in the local market and import fertilizers through borders trade as well as normal trade. In Myanmar, states and division authorities, the member of State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) are also responsible to increase the agriculture production. Some of the regional commanders got fertilizers from local entrepreneurs and distribute to farmers in term of after harvest payment with help of MAS extension staffs.

11. Soil nutrient budget and nutrient uptake

The results of the study of the Phosphate Potash Institute (PPI) in 1993 showed the soil nutrient budget and nutrient uptake in Table 7 and the result on the Yearly Nutrient Input and Output study are shown in Table 8. The study for the fertilizer requirements for Urea, T-Super, and potash are shown in Table 9.

Table 7. Soil nutrient budget and nutrient uptake in Myanmar

Crop

Sown acre (million)

Yield tonne (million)

Nutrient uptake (tonne, ’000)

N

P2O5

K2O

MgO

CaO

Edible Crop (1)

16.1 18.2 451 140 618 79

87

Fruit 0.7 3.2 30 11 36 5

8

Vegetable 0.2 3.5 13 2 10 2

7

Case Crop (2)

Perennial Crop (3)

0.5 0.2 3 1 7 1

1

Total

17.5

25.1

497

154

671

87

103

Remark: (1) Paddy, Maize, Soybean, Groundnut, Cassava and Sweet potato; (2) Sugarcane, Tobacco, Coco, Tea, Coffee; (3) Coconut, Oil palm.

Source: PPI Singapore, 1995, FAO, 1994, IFAW-Fertuse.

Table 8. Yearly input & output data of soil nutrient in Myanmar

Parameter

Nutrient input & output, tonne (’000)

N

P2O5

K2O

MgO

CaO

Input

Natural fertilizer

107

54

143

57

25

Chemical fertilizer

49

14

5

5

15

Output

Plant Nutrient Uptake

497
(-341)

154
(-86)

671
(-523)

87
(-25)

104
(-64)

Nutrient Requirement

Kg/ha

48

12

73

4

9

lb/acre

43

11

65

4

8

Table 9. Yearly fertilizer requirement of Myanmar

Measurement

Unit

Urea

Triplesuper-
phosphate

Potash

National tonne (’000) 741 191

871

Per acre lb/acre 43 11

65

12. Organic fertilizer utilization

The rise in fertilizer prices in Myanmar affected the poor farmers in Myanmar, who have no options left but to depend on the use of any available organic and natural fertilizers. Because of its affordability to most resource poo farmers, the expanded uses of FYM become more important in maintaining crop yields and in sustaining good soil quality and soil fertility. Moreover, Myanmar has tried to introduce the decomposition technology. The raw materials for compost making were not enough because of the increasing multi-user demands and uses of crop residues and weeds.

As a part of the campaign to boost organic matter utilization, Myanmar embarked the enhancing of the green maturing technique and organic fertilizer production. Notable efforts are done on the Sesbania Rostata, one of the many species found to be promising green manure crop by the researchers in Myanmar. According to research findings, at the seed rate of 22 kg/ha. Sesbania plants gives additional equivalent N inputs of 42.5 kg/ha when plowed in at the age of two months after sowing. The researchers likewise recognized a number of practical constraints that prevent widespread acceptance of the sesbania-base green manure technology. This includes area shortage for seed production, moisture availability, and short duration between crop sequences, need for new improved cropping pattern and draught power scarcity and many others that affects farmer labour use and availability. Whatever the case may be, with the persistent yearlong educational programmes, the farmers have started adopting the technology and likewise have improved further their awareness that the use of green manure improves soil structure, its fertility and crop yields.

Currently, organic matter production sites are all over the country and are continuously encouraged by the government. The private sectors and local government are doing their share in the advocacy and promotion organic farming as shown by production of organic fertilizers from wastes of urban and agro-based industry sectors.

13. Biofertilizer utilization

Various kinds of biofertilizer were utilized for many years ago. There are rhizobium, blue green algae, azolla and micorhyza. Rhizobium, is gaining wider and popular acceptance because farmers can see, understand the value on crop production and can easily adopt the technology by themselves. This is not the case of blue green algae and azolla which is laborious and required some specific knowledge.

In the lowland areas of Myanmar, after rice pulses are grown as second crops. Most of the second crops in this system are leguminous and there is a larger scope of the use of biological fertilizer for rhizobium as increasing yields of legumes with minimum fertilizer addition. Considerable research efforts were done since 1978 for the selection of effective rhizobium strains for groundnut, chickpea, mung bean, green gram. Myanmar Agriculture Service has produced annually rhizobium in the range of 100 mt of biofertilizer. In general, the use of 1/2 kg of rhizobium could bring an increase of crop yield. This yield level is also attained by the application of 30 kg N (or 67 kg Urea per hectare).

On the other hand, E.M. (effective microorganism) has been introduced since 1993 by collaborative project with International Nature Farming Research Center (INFRC) of Japan. E.M. is very beneficial for crop production because of its better crop yield, better protection of pests and disease, improvement in soil moisture, structure and texture, rapid decomposition of biomass. Accordingly, the utilization of E.M. is gradually, increased yearly. Fast decomposition techniques are introduced by using E.M. The farmers are practicing compost making in various ways, such as, pit, heap and efficient storage technique. The efficacy of biofertilizer is field tested in many techno-demonstration areas funded by government.

14. Research and demonstration in soil problem areas

Land Use Division under MAS is responsible to do the research and demonstration plots in soil problem areas as routine work. It consists of 2 regional offices; they are located in different division and states. For acidic problem, liming experiments and demonstration plots have been done in delta regional office, Pathein. Likewise, Gypsum experiment are in alkaline problem areas of central Myanmar, Sloping Agriculture Land Technique demonstration plots on hilly, mountain ranges and wind break plantation and soil conservation demonstration plots in dry zone and eroded region have been continuously carries out and these acridities are directly or in directly related to the soil fertility and plant nutrient availability.

15. Recommendation for future planning of improving plant nutrient management for better livelihood of farmers, food security and environment

  1. Establish and strengthen human resource development by the conduct of short-term and long-term international and in-country training
  2. Strengthen capacity of NARES partners within county and abroad.
  3. Develop and provide knowledge and technologies for different farming communities.
  4. Strengthen support to national and local policy-making process.
  5. Provide an international platform for dissemination of technologies.
  6. Undertake local projects and international projects in cooperation with FAO of United Nations and other advanced technology countries.

16. Conclusion

For better livelihood of farmers, Myanmar laid down long-term and short-term planning for improving the soil and land management including plant nutrient. In addition, the government has been enthusiastically participating in sustainable environmental management. Therefore, Myanmar would fully support and cooperate with international activities on plant nutrient management, poverty alleviation, environmental management and integrated food and livelihoods security of the people.

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