VFRC Publications - Page 25

The Micronutrient Initiative Based on the review studies33 that set the scientific foundation for the broad scope, VFRC has moved forward to identify practically applicable fertilizer solutions. Along with the findings in hundreds/thousands of on-farm trials by IFDC in Eastern African countries,34 VFRC, in consultation with its partners, decided to accentuate the role of micronutrients. It will place particular emphasis on the African continent but would take a global perspective due to the growing evidence for the need for balanced fertilizers worldwide. Balanced fertilizers and fertilization strategies involving micronutrients have the potential to serve multiple societal needs. To reap these opportunities, VFRC has developed a global “Micronutrient Initiative” to catalyze collective action. While emphasizing the role of micronutrients, this initiative pursues a comprehensive approach that integrates various auxiliary R&D areas from the VFRC cockpit to arrive at effective and efficient micronutrient interventions. The VFRC envisions a significant opportunity through the addition of micronutrients to fertilizers to help increase food availability, fight hidden hunger, mitigate climate change, enhance agricultural resilience and raise farm incomes. Figure 11. The multiple benefits of micronutrient (MN)-containing fertilizers. Clockwise from upper left: wasting, stunting and underweight as symptoms of malnutrition; crop growth response to micronutrient supply; reduced progression of disease in crops with micronutrient treatment; progressive yield increase with micronutrients; increased uptake of NPK with micronutrients and increase seed nutrient content with micronutrient fertilizers in the form of (conventional) salts or nanoparticles. 21