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المنتدى العالمي المعني بالأمن الغذائي والتغذية

Re: Online consultation for review and comments on the zero-draft International Code of Conduct for the Use and Management of Fertilizers

Rob Blakemore
Rob BlakemoreVermEcologyJapan

Question response from R.J. Blakemore PhD FAO-GSP, IUCN-SSC

Is an International Code of Conduct for the Use and Management of Fertilizers beneficial and useful? To whom, and why?

Yes and NO. It is important to curtail the excess use of NPK that are poisoning soil, air and water but, unless a viable alternative is offered it is pointless.  The C of C mainly helps industry, yet Rockstrom et al. (2009) identified excess Nitrogen fertilizers as the greatest hazard to the planet after species extinctions (partly caused by N fertilizers). They recommended an immediate reduction by 25% but offered no replacement. The obvious replacement is to recycle organic ‘wastes’ via earthworms as vermicomposts.

Does this Fertilizer Code of Conduct address all aspects necessary to ensure the responsible use of fertilizers, optimizing benefits while minimizing risks?

No – it is too synthetic chemical industry biased.  I believe we need to reduce NPK and to rely on recycling and natural mineralization to fertilize forests, crops and pastures.

Are there any topics or subject matter missing from this Fertilizer Code of Conduct? If so, what are they?

Vermicomposts are not mentioned yet they are the most natural and proven solution (e.g. Indore). Essentially free and completely scaleable (from under kitchen sink to nationwide) they can be utilized by individuals, schools, farmers and organizations.  When Soviet Union collapsed and with the continued US embargo, Cuba relied on vermicomposting and organiponicos to supply its food.  It now has one of the lowest cancer rates.

Are there redundancies or unnecessary items or subjects within this Code of Conduct? If so, what are they?

Why mention biochar?  This is a minor amendment – not a fertilizer – that it over-hyped by biocharlatans that offers no benefit whatsoever over traditional and proven composts.  It is a needless distraction!

Do you have any other suggestions or comments not covered in the above questions? If so, please elaborate.

Since the first world war, 100 years ago, there has been excess nitrogen from munitions.  The disposal of this has diverted research and funding from more natural N-fixation and re-cycling.

Rothamsted Research in UK have the longest running LTE in the world at 175 years.  In all this time they have been unable to prove that synthetic NPK offers any benefit over FYM in terms of soil health, yield or costs.  Surely it is time to reconsider and to restore natural production.

A recent summary paper is: .