Global Soil Partnership

Technical meeting and workshop on ‘Sustainable soil management for nutrition-sensitive agriculture’

FAO Headquarters, Rome | October 2021


FAO and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) operate on multiple fronts in regards to promoting sustainable soil management (SSM) and addressing the key threats to soils identified in the Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR).  In relation to nutrient imbalances, and food and nutrition security, the GSP is executing a German Government funded project ‘Sustainable soil management for nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia’, referred to in short as the ‘Soils for Nutrition Project’. The project is piloted in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and Malawi.

The broad aim of this 3-year initiative is to promote and support the application of SSM practices to improve the nutritional quality, particularly micronutrient contents, of locally produced foods to directly impact the health of the consumers and demonstrate links between soil and human health. This is clearly a complex topic involving soil scientists, agronomists, nutritionists and farmers, and requiring a multi-sector approach across the agriculture, health and education sectors. 

While the broader aim of the project is to improve human nutrition from the soil up through crops to people, major project activities will focus around field trials and demonstrations to improve soil and crop micronutrient contents. Nonetheless, improving human health, education, and other social and policy aspects of nutrition-sensitive agriculture will be addressed in knowledge sharing, capacity development and policy-related activities of the project. These include global and national technical workshops.

The purpose of this meeting is to bring together a group of approximately 50 experts working on soils and nutrition-sensitive agriculture, particularly in soil fertility management and agro-biofortification of crops, to discuss and document current knowledge on the topic, identify knowledge gaps and challenges, and to propose strategies to move forward with action on the ground. In addition, the GSP would like to establish a network or hub on the topic drawing on existing expertise and initiatives.

The topic is closely aligned with other FAO and GSP activities, including implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) and the International Code of Conduct for the Sustainable Use and Management of Fertilizers (Fertilizer Code). In addition, soils for nutrition-sensitive agriculture will be a theme in the GSP Global Symposium on Soil Fertility to be held in FAO Rome in 2022. It is envisaged that the ‘Soils for nutrition-sensitive agriculture’ network would contribute to these activities by providing expert advice, technical inputs and other support as identified and agreed on.


The objectives of this meeting are to:

(I)Share and document information and experiences on managing soil fertility and other agronomic practices, plant-breeding and farm-system management approaches for improving the nutritional quality of foods, particularly micronutrient and vitamin contents;

(II)Compile project country-level activities at the global level;

(III)Promote collaboration between actors working in the soil and nutrition-sensitive agriculture arena;

(IV)Discuss and plan the production of a technical and/or policy guideline(s) on ‘Sustainable soil management for nutrition-sensitive agriculture’;

(V)Discuss and plan the establishment of a ‘Soils for nutrition-sensitive agriculture’ network. 


Participants will comprise: 

  • National project partners from Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and Malawi;
  • Other invited/nominated soil, agronomy and/or nutrition experts from Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and Malawi;
  • Key international experts working in the nutrition-sensitive identified through the GSP and other networks.


20 Oct 2021
- 21 Oct 2021
FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy