An expanding world population and the urgency of eradicating hunger and malnutrition call for determined policies and effective actions to ensure sustainable growth in agricultural productivity and production. Assured access to nutritionally adequate and safe food is essential for individual welfare and for national, social and economic development. Unless extraordinary efforts are made, an unacceptably large portion of the world’s population, particularly in developing countries, could still be chronically undernourished in the coming years, with additional suffering caused by acute periodic shortages of food.

For biomass synthesis, which serves as the food resource for humans and animals, nutrient supply to plants is a prerequisite. Therefore, an adequate and appropriate supply of plant nutrients, is a vital component of a crop production system. Agricultural intensification, one of the basic strategies for enhanced food production, is dependent on increased flows of plant nutrients to the crops for securing high yields. Unless supported by adequate nutrient augmentation, the process of agricultural intensification would lead to land degradation and threaten the sustainability of agriculture.

In the past two decades, it has been increasingly recognized that plant nutrient needs in many countries can best be provided through an integrated use of diverse plant nutrient resources. An integrated plant nutrition system (IPNS) or integrated nutrient management (INM) enables the adaptation of the plant nutrition and soil fertility management in farming systems to site characteristics, taking advantage of the combined and harmonious use of organic, mineral and biofertilizer nutrient resources to serve the concurrent needs of food production and economic, environmental and social viability.

Publication Details

  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: FAO