WHY WE SHOULD SAVE THE SOIL?
The world is about to end because the world’s most important thing is dying and that is soil. Soil is alive because a fistful of soil has around 8 to 10 billion organisms. A single handful of soil is home to more living organisms than there are humans on earth and because of this life we grow our food. This life, these micro-organisms are dying.
Many responsible scientists and the UN agencies have clearly stated that we have only 60 to 80 harvests left on the planet which means somewhere between 45 to 50 or 55 years. After that, we don’t have the ability to grow food on the land because there are no nutrients in the soil. 27,000 species of microbes are going extinct per year. If it goes at this rate then in about 30 to 40 years, we’ll reach a point where we cannot grow food. If we try to re-generate soil at that time it will take 150 to 200 years which means DEATH.
Soil is a non-renewable natural resource. For the formation of 1cm of the top soil, it takes up to 1000 years. And only 1 hour is enough to lose all of it. Heavy rainfall, where there are no trees to hold the soil, Industrialization, chemicals, etc. There are many reasons. Even if we want, we cannot make soil. It is a natural process that takes time. But the way we are abusing soil since the last few years, by that speed, we don’t have much time. Because of the industrial level of agriculture where there is no organic input into the soil. The plant cannot get the nutrients that it wants without the help of the microbes. Because those microbes are the basis of the life on this planet. Soil is not dead material where you can throw some nitrogen, phosphorus, something and make it happen. It’s a living entity.
UN says that every 5 seconds, the equivalent of one soccer field is lost due to soil erosion. One by one we are killing those things that help us live.
In earlier times we used to use the crop rotation method so that soil gets a chance to recover. Because farmers would choose their crops wisely in a way that two crops that require different nutrients from the soil are grown together. So, the soil doesn’t get depleted at the same time, so that soil gets time to replenish its nutrients. But today people follow mono-cropping and the soil suffers.
By 2050 world population will be around 9 billion. We would need 1.5 times more food than today. But our soil’s fertility is deteriorating in the coming 25 years the world will have 30% less food which means that 3/10 people will starve to death. And that’s why we need to save the soil.
Today, if we attempt this now. If we take the necessary action now by enshrining soil regeneration and ecological regeneration as a part of our nation policies across the world in 10 to 15 or a maximum of 20 years we can make a significant turnaround.
Soil is the world’s largest recycling plant that converts organic waste into black gold. It decomposes it. Soil is the world’s biggest carbon reserve. Soil is important to stop global warming. Healthy soil holds water and protects it from flooding. It retains only what is necessary and the rest seeps into the ground that becomes a water bank for the coming generation. Soil is not greedy. Soil is a complete ecosystem.