Collaborative action on soil fertility in South Asia: experiences from Bangladesh and Nepal
Soil degradation – largely caused by unsustainable farming practices – is threatening food production in many parts of the world. To break the vicious cycle of over-reliance on agro-chemical inputs and inadequate additions of organic matter, farmers and policymakers need to focus on maintaining soil fertility through greater attention to soil organic matter, agroecological farming practices and the value chains that can supply organic fertiliser in large enough quantities.
This paper represents a first step, describing recent initiatives in Bangladesh and Nepal to bring together government, NGOs, farmers and the private sector. Awareness of the problem is on the increase and small-scale solutions – from urban waste recycling to vermi-compost production – are proving that the potential exists. Policy support is now needed to scale these up.