Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Member profile

Dr. Ronald Vargas Rojas

Organization: FAO
Country: Italy
Field(s) of expertise:

Ronald Vargas Rojas is a Soils and Land Officer at FAO and since 2011, he is leading the implementation of the Global Soil Partnership. He is a Bolivian soil scientist with more than 15 years of working experience (research, academic and development) in natural resources management with a focus on sustainable soil management for food security and ecosystem services. His expertise includes land suitability and land degradation assessment, land use planning, soil mapping and soil management for climate change adaptation in Latin America, Africa, Near East and Asia. He has been the promoter of the International Year of Soils, the revised World Soil Charter, the Status of the World’s Soil Resources Report and the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management.

This member contributed to:

    • Dear Participants,

      I would like to thank all of you once again for your contributions to this discussion and for your valuable feedback that will enable us to develop a Code of Conduct for the Management of Fertilizers (CoCoFe). In the last week, we have received 14 contributions and the commentary below intents to further fuel the discussion.

      For any newcomers, please look at our last contribution for the link of the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management in order to have a better idea of the formatting and content of the CoCoFe.

      The new comments seem to be related to the comments we have received since the beginning of the discussion and include the change in formulation and phrasing of the objectives, inclusion of regional specificities, changes in the scope and target audience of the CoCoFe, and the inclusion of all relevant inputs and not only synthetic fertilizers. Please know that we are taking all of your comments into consideration.

      New and interesting topics have also been received such as:

      • The need of having a way to measure or quantify the progress of distribution and adoption of the CoCoFe.
      • The Inclusion of various types of wastes (agricultural waste, manure, industrial waste etc.).
      • The protection and promotion of endogenous knowledge of fertilizer production at the local level such as composting.
      • The acknowledgment of lack of technical knowledge on how to deal with fertilizers and agricultural waste in some areas/ regions.

      With these comments in mind, I would like to add that the CoCoFe will attempt to tackle some of the points mentioned above such as bio-waste storage and recycling, and farmer technical assistance.

      We would also like to invite you to address the following points:

      What would be a good way to measure or quantify the progress of distribution and adoption of the CoCoFe?

      Keeping in mind that the CoCoFe will serve as a guiding framework for all Member States, what should be included in order for the code of conduct to help address different stakeholders?  

      We are looking forward to further discussions as we jointly explore how we might strengthen the CoCoFe.

    • Dear Participants,

      I would like to thank each and every one of you for participating and providing your opinion and feedback on the development of a Code of Conduct for the Management of Fertilizers (CoCoFe). We are taking all of your comments into consideration. 

      In order to have a better idea of what this code of conduct would be like, please take a look at this link where the same concept is applied to pesticide management: http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/Pests_Pesticid… 

      While the two documents will evidently be different due to the nature of the products discussed, does this change some of your responses? Mr. Mulugeta also brought up an important point that should be discussed: What terms and definitions should be included in the CoCoFe?

      I have also answered some comments below and would love to hear back from you, keep the discussion going!

      Dear Mr. Mulugeta,
      The Code of Conduct for Fertilizer Management will provide a framework aimed to guide government regulators, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders on best practice in managing fertilizers. We believe that this code of conduct will have a beneficial impact on the agricultural sector, but will also have economic and environmental benefits. We therefore hope that through the effective implementation of this code of conduct, we can achieve significant reduction in risks associated with fertilizer use on the environment (which would tackle the points that you mentioned above). I hope that this helps clarify the situation.

      Dear Mr. Tinsley,
      Thank you for your response, and yes you are right about the code of conduct focusing mostly on the administrative side. The code of conduct will provide a framework that will guide government regulators, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders on best practice in managing fertilizers. 
      I would also like to thank you for the links you shared about the income differences between developed and developing countries, and how these differences can have an impact on the business environment and the tax base for supporting public agricultural services. Your concerns are valid and will be taken into consideration. 

      Dear Mr. Darwish,
      Thank you for your input. The Code of Conduct for Fertilizer Management will provide a framework aimed to guide government regulators, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders on best practice in managing fertilizers. While getting input from farmers would be greatly beneficial, they are not the target audience for this document. There will be second planned document that will cover the other concerns. 

      Dear Mr. Isingoma,
      Thank you for your input, and for your comment about combining objectives 1 and 5. We will be considering your comment. Just to clarify, objective one refers to increasing crop productivity, which in turn would increase global food production. The fifth objective refers to the availability of safe food of expected quality in the markets. 
      As mentioned before, the scope of this code of conduct does not permit us to include farmers as the target audience. As Mr. Tinsley mentioned, a code of conduct generally provides us with a framework that would involve the administrative side of fertilizer usage.
      Thank you for the rest of your contribution and for pointing out the importance of organic fertilizer in SSA. While utilizing available resources such as organic fertilizers is encouraged and important if proper management practices are used, it is also important to meet the needs of the crops being grown as Mr. Tinsley mentioned. 

      Dear Mr. Mohammed,
      Thank you for participating in this forum. You mentioned that the objectives might not be relevant for all participating countries. Is there a specific example that you can think of that might need a different set of objectives? 
      While this code of conduct might be very general, it is a first step that provides a framework to help in managing and using fertilizers. It would not be country specific. With this information in mind, which nutrient input sources do you think should be included?

      Dear Mr. Fuentes,
      Thank you very much for your very insightful comments. You mention that the supply side of fertilizers should also be included in the code of conduct, and while we agree on the importance of the matter, we believe that splitting the two issues would be more appropriate. If you look at The International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management linked above, you might get a better idea of what this code of conduct would look like and the kind of information that would be included. With that in mind, do you have any other suggestions?