Глобальное почвенное партнерство

Launch of the Honduras National Soil Laboratory Network

The Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) was established in 2017 under the FAO's Global Soil Partnership (GSP) to strengthen soil analytical capacity worldwide and harmonize laboratory protocols and standards.  The success of the network hinges on the active participation of member laboratories. Recognizing the need for coordinated efforts at the regional level, Regional Soil Laboratory Networks (RESOLANs) were introduced some years ago. These regional networks, 7 as of today, serve to facilitate coordination collaboration and communication among laboratories within a specific region, enhancing the overall efficiency of soil analysis procedures. At the country level, National Soil Laboratory Networks (NASOLANs) were also established to overcome language and cultural barriers, promote collaboration and address specific challenges to countries. Presently, there are over 30 NASOLANs established within the framework of GLOSOLAN.



It is in this specific context that the Honduran government, in collaboration with the SoilFER project (”Soil mapping for resilient agri-food systems in Central America and sub-Saharan Africa”) implemented by FAO and its GSP, successfully inaugurated the "National Soil Laboratory Network for Honduras (HONSOLAN)." The launch event took place on 11 January 2024, during a hybrid event that attracted over 30 stakeholders. This diverse group comprised by government officials, representatives from universities, laboratory managers, and national soil experts, all convening from different regions of Honduras came to witness the event. The event was held at the Minister's office of the Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock in Tegucigalpa, Francisco Morazán, Honduras.

The ceremony commenced with a series of three opening speeches.  Mr. Arturo Galo, the Director of the Directorate of Agricultural Science and Technology (DICTA) initiated the event by emphasizing the historical importance of this launch for Honduran agriculture. He highlighted the pivotal role of HONSOLAN in tackling productivity challenges by providing timely fertility recommendations to improve agricultural production for the benefit of the country. Following Dr. Lifeng Li, Director of the Land and Water division of FAO took the stage. He highlighted that the network would play a substantial role in improving the reliability of soil data and information throughout Honduras. Additionally, it will assist the country in advancing its capacities in soil monitoring and analysis, generating high-quality soil data, and developing advanced digital soil mapping and information systems.

Finally, bringing the opening remarks to a close was Her Excellency, Dr. Laura Suazo, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Honduras. She emphasized the importance of January 2024 in advancing crucial soil-related projects. These include the initiation of SoilFER, the launch of Suelos de Honduras, and today's the inauguration of HONSOLAN. The minister underscored the government's dedication to supporting this network and soil-related initiatives for the next two decades through the recently approved state policy. This policy will allocate funds to the PROSUELOS project, managed by DICTA. The establishment of HONSOLAN will complement these efforts by organizing a network to increase analyses, enhance result quality, and refine laboratory recommendation systems.

The HONSOLAN launch featured Ms. Miriam Ostinelli from the GLOSOLAN Steering Committee, who presented a comprehensive overview of the GLOSOLAN network. She emphasized the importance of tailoring activities to the national context. She concluded by highlighting the role of soil laboratories in transforming soil samples into decision-informing data. Following this, Ms. Maria de Los Angeles Sepúlveda, Chair of LATSOLAN, outlined the 2024 LATSOLAN activities She highlighted key challenges, including supporting the establishment of NASOLAN, organizing proficiency testing exercises, addressing language barriers, maintaining Spanish-language training programs, and effectively managing funding for proposed objectives. Concluding the event, Mr. Arturo Varela, representing the SoilFER project, presented a detailed overview of the terms of reference and work plan for HONSOLAN.

The event proceeded and concluded with the inaugural technical meeting of HONSOLAN, during which the following outcomes were achieved:

1.    Approval of the terms of reference by the laboratories.

2.    Governance selection for 2024-2026 as follows:

   a. Chair: Mr. Carlos Irías, Head of the Soil Laboratory, from the National University of Agriculture (UNAG).

   b. Vice-Chair: Mr. Marcos Padilla, Head of the Agricultural Chemical Laboratory, from the Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Research (FHIA)

   c. Technical Committee: FAO through the SoilFER project.

3.    Approval of the 2024 work plan for HONSOLAN.

In conclusion, the enthusiastic participation and engagement of various stakeholders, including authorities from SAG/DICTA, academia, the soil association, and laboratory representatives, demonstrates a shared interest and commitment to the establishment of HONSOLAN.


Media coverage:

News article (31 November 2023):