The IV Annual International Scientific and Practical Conference on Food Security and Soil Science took place on December 5-6, at the Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops in Sochi. The event was dedicated to the celebration of World Soil Day.

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The Eurasian Center for Food Security, World Bank, FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation together with partners held this event for the fourth time. This year Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops and Russian State Agrarian University – Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural became co-organizers. Every year the event is of increasing interest among scientists and  experts from different regions of Russia and the world. This year, the conference brought together 98 participants from Austria, Armenia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Russia, Uzbekistan, Uganda and South Africa. The main topics discussed at the conference were climate-smart agriculture, soil erosion and agriculture in the tropical and subtropical zones in the context of food security.

On the first day of the conference, welcoming remarks were made by: Sergey Shoba ECFS Director, Sharafan Mikhail, Head of the Department of Science and Technology Policy of the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth Policy of the Krasnodar Region, Alexey Ryndin, Director of Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops, Artavazd Hakobyan, Senior Agriculture Economist, the World Bank, Aghasi Harutyunyan, FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation and Yuxin Tong, Associate Professional Officer of Global Soil Partnership FAO.

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Mikhail Sharafan touched upon the topic of strengthening intersectoral and regional cooperation on ensuring sustainable agriculture development and told that the regional government allocates funds for agricultural. “Today agreements have been concluded at the regional level for a total amount of 120 million rubles: 50% of the regional budget and 50% of the federal budget. About 100 projects, more than 700 scientists have already received support”said Mikhail Sharafan.

The conference was widely covered in media. Sergey Shoba, Pavel Krasilnikov, Mikhail Sharafan and Agasi Harutyunyan gave interviews to federal and regional TV channels.

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Watch the interview at the link (only in russian) (The video was taken on the website vesti-sochi.tv and on the Youtube channel of Vesti Sochi).

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Watch the interview at the link (only in russian). (The video was taken on the website Sochi24.tv and on the Youtube channel SOCHI24).

Pavel Krasilnikov at the plenary session offered the audience a question: how can humanity as a whole, and the agricultural sector in particular, be able to respond to climate change? How to mitigate the greenhouse effect by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their fixation, including in agricultural soils, and adapt to a changing climate? Experts continued the discussion on climate-smart agriculture. At the end of the panel section, Simon Leiva, coordinator of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, in his online presentation, called on Russian specialists to join the alliance.

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On the panel discussion on the Role of soil scientists in food security and SDG achievement discussed the importance of the soil science profession in addressing the global challenges of sustainable development, as well as the prospects and growth points of interdisciplinary research. Experts noted the importance of economic calculations to justify the introduction of technologies for sustainable soil management and mentioned that in Russia mainly soil scientists are concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg, while specialists across Russia are in demand.

 

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A poster session was also held on the first day of the conference. Poster presentations by scientists and researchers of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops, Russian State Agrarian University – Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy, Northern Caucasus Federal Scientific Center for Horticulture, Vine Growing  and Viticulture, V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Kuban State Agrarian University, Tomsk State University and Southern Federal University caused a lively discussions.

On the second day, discussions continued at three thematic roundtables sessions.

At the first Roundtable session “Technological innovations for sustainable land management”, experts discussed how to combine scientific achievements, technological developments and the experience of farmers to effectively address issues of sustainable land management. The representative of URALCHEM JSC Valeria Dobrovolskaya presented an up-to-date report on the development of nutrition systems depending on the agrochemical indicators of soil fertility. The expert suggested to consider fertilizer as an instrument for influencing food security factors. For example, fertilizer manufacturers recommend using fertigation to increase the nutrient utilization rate of plants. Valeria Dobrovolskaya cited the following facts: 70% of world water consumption is spent on agriculture, 60% of agricultural water is lost due to inefficient irrigation systems, the area under drip irrigation has increased 4.5 times over 20 years, and their annual growth is projected to be 8-10%.. The information voiced caused a heated discussion between those who want to reduce environmental protection, and those who want to produce more and better food.

 Andrei Rozanov, representing Stellenbosch University (South Africa), in his report reflected the situation in the field of farmers using the services of soil laboratories and succinctly summarized the situation with the words of V.A. Gilyarovskiy: "A penny's worth dimes!". The expert quoted the prices for chemical analyzes in different countries of the world and demonstrated why it is more profitable for farmers to  usespectroscopy and what are the disadvantages of this method, why the number of chemical analytical laboratories may decrease, and why in the future a false idea about the state of the soil cover could be created .

The second round table “Agroecological problems of erosion, soil degradation and the best available technologies for climate-smart agriculture in Chernozem and Black soils” was devoted to the key issues of quantitative research, modeling, forecasting and prevention of processes of anthropogenic degradation of Chernozems and other Black soil options against the backdrop of global climate changes, economic conditions of land and water use, massively applied farming systems and agricultural technologies. Particular attention was paid to a systematic analysis of the agroecological problems of the accelerated development of erosion, increasing the economic efficiency and environmental safety of the use of fertilizers in intensive and organic farming systems.

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Andrei Zhidkin, representing Geography Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, focused on the advantages and disadvantages of the existing system for monitoring soil erosion. Among the shortcomings an specialist highlighted a high degree of subjectivity, low productivity, and limited planning options for erosion control measures, and he attributed the simplicity of the system to the advantages. Andrei Zhidkin noted that between 2000 and 2010, EU government policy has reduced soil erosion by an average of 20% for arable land in Europe.

 Olga Bazhenova from V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Irkutsk Scientific Center Siberian Branch of RAS devoted her report to soil erosion in southern Siberia. The specialist presented that in order to optimize land use in conditions of forced conservation of agricultural land and some weakening of soil erosion, an inventory of deflationary and erosive hazardous lands is necessary based on their mapping and quantitative assessment.

Dmitry Sidorenko, head of the agronomic department of EuroChem Trading Rus LLC, in his report demonstrated the main mistakes that farmers make when managing plant nutrition. Often only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are taken into account, while a plant needs a balanced diet, which consists of at least 13 nutrients (for example, a lack of calcium can seriously reduce yield and product quality). Soil analyzes are not done or not done on time; fertilizers are used in the manner "the more the better!". High doses of fertilizers increase the salt content in the root zone and with a lack of moisture, plants can get burns. The terms for fertilizing are not respected, they use the same fertilizer formula. The expert recommended substantiating fertilizer programs in accordance with the nutrient requirements for a particular crop, land use level and local soil and climatic conditions.

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Participants of the round table “Agriculture in the subtropical and tropical zones: is soil the limiting factor?” Shared their experiences of sustainable land management in the tropical and subtropical zones and outlined the prospects for cooperation, including on the management of nutrient content in soils. A feature of this round table was a lively discussion. Representatives of African countries emphasized that the causes of food insecurity in tropical countries, along with political and economic instability and the lack of effective social policies, are low agricultural productivity, including as a result of a deficiency of basic nutrients in the soil and unfavorable  physical properties of the soil, and also a critical lack of specialists and knowledge. So, in Uganda, 6 specialists in the field of soil science and agricultural chemistry are graduated annually. The last issue that was dealt with by a detailed study on human capital in soil science in Africa, Central Asia and the South Caucasus, published by ECFS for World Soil Day 2018. Valeria Bukina, director of the Russian Holzer Permaculture Center, NaturBook, noted that the limiting the factor is the soil texture, and that the primary task of sustainable land use is the management of atmospheric water, especially in subtropical and tropical zones with high  precipitation level and in erosion hazardous areas.

Lyudmila Malyukova emphasized that there are subtropical soils in Russia, but they cover a relatively small area. However, they are extremely important for the production of subtropical crops for the national food market. The history of the study of these soils has allowed Russian soil scientists to successfully apply their knowledge in tropical regions.

At the end of the first day, an excursion to the Matsesta tea plantations took place. Conference participants learned about the cultivation technology of the northernmost tea in the world, and conducted a tasting of handmade May tea.

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During the second day of the conference, the participants visited the Friendship Tree Botanical Garden. During the tour, not only discussed subtropical agriculture, but also saw firsthand how tangerines, persimmons, kiwi, feijoa are cultivated in trial plots in the botanical garden. As a sign of promising cooperation between experts in the field of agriculture, soil conservation, specialists in the field of food security and agricultural economics, Sergei Shoba  grafted on the Peace Tree.

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On the third day of the conference, a scientific field trip to the Adler experimental station – Branch of the N. I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (VIR) was held, during which the participants got acquainted with the richness of the seed bank of a unique experimental station and  tasted citrus fruits and kiwi.

 

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Exchange of experience and knowledge, the strengthening of cooperation between scientists, , representatives of agribusiness and non-profit organizations took place not only in the meeting room and during coffee breaks, but also on field excursions.

A distinctive feature of the conference was the close interaction of experts in the field of theoretical and practical issues of soil science and agrochemistry, agronomy, representatives of agribusiness, food safety and ecology, and the active participation of young specialists. The participants and organizers of the conference express their deep gratitude to the hosts - Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops for their help in organizing the conference. We thank all partners and participants who have become part of this significant event!

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The question of the location of the celebration of World Soil Day 2020 is still open, we are waiting for your suggestions!

Photo are avaliable here

Video are avaliable here.

Presentations are avaliable here

Posters are avaliable here.

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Agenda

Welcoming Remarks

Sergey Shoba, Director, Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS), Dean, Faculty of Soil Science, Lomonosov Moscow State University (LMSU), President of Dokuchaev Soil Science Society, Corresponding Member of RAS

- Sharafan Mikhail, Head of the Department of Science and Technology Policy of the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth Policy of the Krasnodar Region

- Alexey Ryndin, Director, Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops, Academician of RAS

- Artavazd Hakobyan, Senior Agriculture Economist, the World Bank

- Aghasi Harutyunyan, FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation

- Yuxin Tong, Associate Professional Officer, Global Soil Partnership FAO

Plenary session

Moderator: Sergey Shoba, Director, Eurasian Center for Food Security, Corresponding Member of RAS

- Overview of nuclear techniques used for climate-smart agriculture withOverview of nuclear techniques used for climate-smart agriculture withfocus on soil erosion Emil Fulajtar, Expert, Soil and Water Managementand Crop Nutrition Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of NuclearTechniques in Food and Agriculture, Department of Nuclear Sciencesand Applications, International Atomic Energy Agency

- Soils of tomorrow: agriculture and food security under global climateSoils of tomorrow: agriculture and food security under global climatechange pressure, Pavel Krasilnikov, Deputy Director, Eurasian Center forFood Security, Corresponding Member of RAS

- Linking soil carbon protection and sequestration from climate-smart soilLinking soil carbon protection and sequestration from climate-smart soilpractices in agriculture to nationally determined contributions, LieslWiese-Rozanova, Independent consultant

- Farming systems in the humid subtropical zone of Russia, Alexey Ryndin, Farming systems in the humid subtropical zone of Russia, Alexey Ryndin,Director, Academician of RAS, Ludmila Malyukova, Chief Researcher,Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops

- Agrobiodiversity for adaptation of agriculture to climate change, AlexeyAgrobiodiversity for adaptation of agriculture to climate change, Alexey Zavarzin, Deputy Director for Scientific and Organizational Work, N. I.Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (VIR)

- Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) and its’ multistakeholder approach to scale up CSA, Simon Leiva, Coordinator, Global Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) and its’ multistakeholder approach to scale up CSA, Simon Leiva, Coordinator, GlobalAlliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA)

anel Discussion: «Role of soil scientists in food security and SDG achievement»

Moderator: Artavazd Hakobyan, Senior Agriculture Economist, the World Bank

- Pavel Krasilnikov, Deputy Director, Eurasian Center for Food Security, Corresponding Member of RAS

- Ermek Baibagyshov, President, Kyrgyz Soil Science Society named after academician A.M.Mamytov

- Lazizakhon Gafurova, Professor, National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek

- Gayane Gasparyan, Director, Soil Science, Melioration and Agrochemistry Scientific Center named after H. Petrosyan, Armenian National Agrarian University

- Maksim Dabahov, Professor, Nizhny Novgorod State Agricultural Academy

- Patrick Musinguzi, Senior Lecturer, Makerere University, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Department of Agricultural Production

 Roundtable Session 1: «Technological innovations for sustainable land management»

Moderator: Aghasi Harutyunyan, FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation

-Climate and food security in Eurasia, Anna Buyvolova, AgriculturalClimate and food security in Eurasia, Anna Buyvolova, Agriculturalconsultant, the World Bank

- Regional assessment of agroecological conditions using remote sensingRegional assessment of agroecological conditions using remote sensingdata as an information basis for territorial management, Alexander Krenke, Chief engineer, LLC Ecomonitoring-Agro

- Inventory of lands of agricultural purpose. Use the results in soil resourceInventory of lands of agricultural purpose. Use the results in soil resourcemanagement, Yuriy Kovyazin, General Director, Scientific and technicalcenter Constructor

Soil spectroscopy, machine learning and the explanatory value of soil analysis Andrei RozanovSenior Lecturer, Stellenbosch University

State support of organic agriculture technologies for sustainable land management (case study in Germany), Artur Rykalin, Researcher, Eurasian center for food security, Moscow state University

Innovative methods of soil conservation and soil fertility maintenance based on soybean molasses Bio Axel, Elena Pashkevich, Professor, Faculty of soil science, Lomonosov Moscow State University

Development of improved nutrition systems depending on agrochemical indicators of soil fertility, Valeria Dobrovolskaya, Specialist on open ground, JSC URALCHEM

Roundtable Session 2: "Agroecological problems of erosion, soil degradation and the best available technologies for climate-smart agriculture in Chernozem and black soils "

Moderator: Ivan Vasenev, Head of the Ecology Department, Russian State Agrarian University – Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy

-Soil-ecological research system for climate-smart agriculture Aleksey SorokinSenior researcher, Eurasian Center for Food Security

- Soil erosion in southern Siberia: dynamics for the agricultural period, current state, risks, soil protection models, Olga Bazhenova, Leading researcher, V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Irkutsk Scientific Center Siberian Branch of RAS

- Monitoring or digital modeling of soil erosion? Andrey Zhidkin, Senior researcher, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University

- Increase of economic efficiency and ecological safety of application of mineral fertilizers of the EuroChem company on Chernozems of Krasnodar region, Dmitry Sidorenko, Head of agronomic Department, LLC EuroChem Trading RUS in Krasnodar Region

- Assessment of soil erosion using fallout radionuclides, Emil Fulajtar, Expert, Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, International Atomic Energy Agency

- Unconventional for Russia fertilizer biochar: features of obtaining and effects of its application, Svetlana Selivanovskaya, Director, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Kazan Federal University

- Modern technologies of biological water purification of closed reservoirs in the Chernozem zone with intensive technologies of agriculture, Vladimir Grabarnik, Managing partner, LLC AlgoTek

- Ecological aspects of bioorganic agriculture: advantages and disadvantages, Viktor Glebov, Associate Professor, Department of Forensic Ecology, RUDN University

- Agroecological monitoring of chernozems for the development of Russia's export potential for durum wheat, Ivan Vasenev, Head of the Department of Ecology, Turmushbek Dzhancharov, Senior Lecturer, Mikhail Kurashov, Associate Professor, Russian State Agrarian University - Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy

-Prospects of application of IOT technologies for reduction of ecological risks of land use on Chernozems and Black soils, Alexey Yaroslavtsev, Researcher, Laboratory of smart technologies of sustainable development of the urban environment in the conditions of global changes

Круглый стол 3:«Сельское хозяйство в субтропической и тропической зонах: является ли почва лимитирующим фактором?»

Moderator: Pavel Krasilnikov, Deputy Director, Eurasian Center for Food Security, Corresponding Member of RAS

Soil aspect of food security in the tropics of Africa, Patrick Musinguzi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Production, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University

Improving soil health, food security, and livelihood of smallholder farmers in Mozambique through development, dissemination and use of appropriate fertilizer blends, Rogerio Borguete, Assistant Professor and Head of Soil Science Division, Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Engineer, Eduardo Mondlane University

Optimization of soil fertility in tea growing in Russia, Ludmila Malyukova, Chief researcher, Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops

Methods of ecosystem reclamation of soils and water balance in agricultural landscapes,Valeria Bukina, Director, Holzer permaculture Center of Russia, NaturBook Company ,

Application of humic amendments in tropics: achievements and problems (case study on Bali island), Olga Yakimenko, Senior researcher, Eurasian Center for food security, Lomonosov Moscow State University

List of Posters

  1. The necessity of the implementation of GIS in Armenia for the detection of uncultivated land. Eloyan A.S. Scientific center of Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Melioration after G. Petrossyan, branch of ANAU
  2. Structural and functional state of microbial complex of brown forest acidic soils of humid-subtropical zone of Russia under long-term agrogenic influence. Rogozhina E.V. Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops
  3. Anthropogenic evolution of zheltozem in recreation area on the Sochi Black sea coast since the late from twenties of the 20-th century Burtovoy A.V., Zakharikhina L.V. Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops
  4. Influence of biogenic elements (Mg, Ca, B, Zn) on the fertility of brown forest acidic soils, yield and quality of green tea leaves in the conditions of the black sea coast of Russia. Velikii A.V., Malukova L. S., Pritula Z.V. Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops.
  5. Technogenic degradation of soil cover of the Mzymta river basin (Sochi) and methods of its regulation. Vlasenko V.P., Kostenko V.V. Kuban State Agrarian University
  6. Fine irrigation as the main element of the optimized technology of tea cultivation in Adygea and its influence on agrochemical indicators of soil fertility. Dobejina S.V., Tuov M.T., Pchihachev E.K., Shishhov M.B. Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops
  7. Ecological prerequisites for meadow farming in the basins of drained lakes in the North of Western Siberia. Istigichev G.I. Tomsk State University
  8. Change of acid-base buffering of brown forest acidic soils during long-term tea cultivation in Russian subtropics. Kerimzade V.V. Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops
  9. Agro potential of underwater soils. Tkachenko A.N., Kozachyuk M.N. Lomonosov Moscow State University
  10. Evolution of brown forest acidic soils fertility of tea plantations in humid subtropics of Russia under long term agrogenic influence of different intensity. Kozlova N.V., Malukova L. S., Kerimzade V.V. Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops
  11. Efficiency of biochar application as sorbent on Chernozem ordinary in the conditions of pollution. Minkina T.M., Bauer T.V., Sushkova S.N., Fedorenko A.G., Gorovcov A.V.
  12. Influence of mineral fertilizers on Gray forest-steppe soil agrochemical properties in piedmont zone of Krasnodar region. Sergheeva N.N. Northern Caucasus Federal Scientific Center for Horticulture, Vine Growing and Viticulture
  13. Spatial and temporal regularities of soil erosion in the steppes of Dauria. Tyumentseva E.M.1, Bazhenova O.I.2(1Education institute of Irkutsk State University, 2Sochava Institute of geography SB RAS )
  14.  Agrochemical monitoring of leached Chernozem in a monoculture garden. Yaroshenko O.V. Northern Caucasus Federal Scientific Center for Horticulture, Vine Growing and Viticulture
  15. Urbanized soil use in urban farming to ensure megalopolises food security exemplified by trial field plots at the environmental station of Russian State Agrarian University (Moscow) Alexandrov N.A.Russian State Agrarian University – MTAA named after K.A. Timiryazev
  16. The role of Chernozems in solving food security problems. Kravtsova Т.Е. South Federal University
  17. The possibility of using soy molasses (a waste of soy protein production) as an organic fertilizer and in composting wood chips. Pashkevich E.B. Lomonosov Moscow State University
  18. The effectiveness of mineral fertilizers in the cultivation of batat in the Krasnodar region. Ardislamov N.A.1 Bolisheva T.N.1 Romanenkov V. А.1 Rindin A.V.2 Malukova L.S.2 (1 Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2 Russian Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops)