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Soil, Oil Palm, Climate Action By Earthworm Foundation

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What is it about?

Malaysia is one of the biggest palm oil producers in the world, and this crop covers huge areas of agriculture land in the country. Essentially, healthy soils function as a living system and to maintain or increase soil carbon, which is important to mitigate climate change. Therefore, advocating and empowering plantation owners in improving soil health is crucial for the sustainability of agriculture lands.

Earthworm Foundation’s event called ‘Healthy Soil, Oil Palm, Climate Action’ on October 9 th 2019 from 10 am – 1pm at Black Box, Publika, will screen several videos on soil conservation. The event will also feature expert speakers on good practices such as chemical free, Integrated Pest Management, Persistence Farming, Natural /Organics in oil palm plantation which will contribute enormously for soil conservation.

 

Who are the Speakers?

Boon Boo Ong, Manager, OTT Consultants Sdn. Bhd
Topic of Talk: ‘Chemical free Farming for Oil Palm’

Mr. Ong is an experienced planter who owns a 78 ha. organic oil palm plantation in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan. Prior to that, he worked as an Electronic Engineer for 33 years. Over the past 10 years, he has been practising chemical-free farming at his family-owned plantation.

Through his consultancy company, he shares his knowledge and experience on good agriculture practices with other planters across Malaysia.

Prasad Vasudevon (Senior Manager (Head of Rurality), Earthworm Foundation Malaysia)
Topic of talk: ‘Living Soils Initiative – Empowering Farmers and Scaling Up Soil Restoration’

Prasad joined Earthworm Foundation in 2015 as a Project Manager and presently is the Senior Manager in the Malaysian office. Through the Rurality programme, he collaborates and innovates with a team of passionate individuals in a mission to empower farmers to strengthen their resilience and improve their livelihood. He also provides strategic directions and support to the digital innovation team that drive’s digital solution to help refineries and mills in achieving their sustainability goals. Prior to Earthworm Foundation he spent 6 years in Malaysian Nature Society, implementing various community based conservation projects. He holds B.Sc. (Hons) in Biotechnology and M.Sc. in Sustainability Science and Technology Policy from University of Malaya. He will speak on how implementation of good practices in (i.e chemical, Integrated Pest Management, Persistence Farming, Natural /Organics) in oil palm plantation will contribute enormously for soil conservation.

Dr. Norman Hj. Kamarudin (Director, Biological Research Division Malaysian Palm Oil Board)
Topic of Talk: SOIL – The Powerhouse for Sustainable Oil Palm Production’

Dr. Norman began working at the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia in 1987, shortly after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) from the National University of Malaysia (UKM) in 1986. His field of study at the University was Entomology and he was placed in the Entomology and Mammalia Group when he first began his career. During PORIM and later MPOB, he led and participated in a number of important research projects such as pollinating weevils and oil palm pest control such as bagworms, rhinoceros beetle, termites and bunch moth. He further studied in Imperial College of London in 1993-94, obtaining the MSc in Applied Entomology and later pursued and received his PhD (Entomology) at UKM in 2001.  Subsequently in 2003, he led the Crop Production and Management Unit, and Agronomy and Mechanization Unit in 2011. Finally in 2012, he was entrusted with the role of Director of Biological Research from 2012 to 2019. He is currently the President of the International Society of Oil Palm Agronomists since 2012 and is an active member of the Malaysian Entomology Association.

Muhammad Zaid Mohamed Khalid , Senior Agronomist, Sime Darby Research Sdn Bhd
Topic of Talk: Soil Ecosystem Improvement in Sime Darby Plantation

Zaid has 9 years’ experience in oil palm research management and oil palm agronomic advisory. He is majorly involved in Sime Darby Plantation’s feasibility study, carbon stock study and soil surveys in Malaysia, Indonesia and Liberia. He is also a member of the Malaysian Society of Soil Science. He obtained a B.Sc. in Agrotechnology from University of Malaysia, Terengganu.

WHAT WILL YOU BE WATCHING?

1. Soil Speaks: Regenerating India’s Soils


This video highlights ‘Mitti Bole‘ or Soil Speaks, a project launched by Earthworm Foundation’s India office to support farmers nurture the country’s soils back to health. The main goals of Mitti Bole is to make soils a central part of the agricultural conversation – focusing on making agriculture more sustainable, reviving age-old practices of soil regeneration while striking a fine balance between chemical and organic products.

Produced by: Earthworm Foundation

2. Once Upon a Time, There was a Pirated Book

What happens when Claude Bourguignon, a world famous soil expert, discovers his book has been translated into English and found by Indian farmers who have used it to transform how they work? Answer? He flies to India with The Forest Trust to show these farmers how to get the best out of soil.

Produced by: Earthworm Foundation

3. Living Soils for Now and for the Future

Regenerative farming methods have proven to answer many issues farmers face today. A combination of crop rotation, cover crops and no-till methods have proven to tackle soil erosion, bring back soil biodiversity and increase water infiltration. While these methods also represent a key solution to fighting climate change by storing more carbon into our soils, they can be a source of stress for farmers willing to make the shift. In this short film, French farmers who joined our Living Soils initiative are sharing their thoughts, struggles and hopes on the shift towards regenerative farming methods.

Produced by: Earthworm Foundation

4. The Art of Soil: Painting with Earth: Vlog 018

Kirsten Kurtz manages the most important soil health lab in the world at Cornell University, with responsibilities in lab management, research, communication, teaching and outreach. She has been emotionally drawn to soils in other ways, particularly as an artist who now exclusively paints with soil. She is the founder of the Soil Painting Initiative which focuses on using soil painting as a form of scientific communication. The vlog is one of the soil series produced by Cornell University Soil Health Lab

Produced by: Summer Rayne Oakes (Executive Producer) and Sander Van Dijk (Creative Director and Cinematographer).

ABOUT EARTHWORM FOUNDATION

Earthworm Foundation (EF) is an impact-driven non-profit that works on the ground to create conditions for nature and people to thrive. Partnering with businesses, civil society and governments, we focus on implementing responsible sourcing commitments in supply chains, innovating practical solutions to the social and environmental challenges of production practices, and catalysing industry-wide chain reactions to scale up change.

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