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Vision for Soil Health 2021. Concerns and Opportunities

Дата: 14.01.2021

Soil is the most precious gift of nature to humankind which provides us the basic needs like food, nutrition and good environment. It is essential that the soil remains healthy so as to provide ecosystem services effectively and on a sustainable basis. Some attributes like fertility, compaction, bio-wealth and low erodibility are the indicators of good soil health. The soil organic carbon (SOC) is the basic foundation to support and sustain soil health. Often led by faulty land use and gross mismanagement/over-exploitation, the SOC content gets diminished. This sets in motion a vicious cycle of events that spark fall in soil health. Wearing down of soil health costs an annual loss of more than 20 million tons or 1% of the global annual foodgrain production. Worldwide, 1.5 billion people and 42% of the poorest of the poor live on degraded lands. Share of India in global degraded land area is about 10% and of population that thrives on degraded land is 17%.

Organic recycling is fundamental to improving and sustaining soil health. India has vast potential of organic waste resources, recycling of which is vital for supplementing plant nutrients and maintenance of soil health. Organic recycling in agriculture is limited in our country because of several competitive uses of crop residues, animal waste, etc. as well as burning of crop residues due to economies of scale. The Government of India has launched a mission on soil health and undertaken a massive effort to provide soil health cards to all farmers. It is critical to know as to how best the soil health information could be used to provide rational fertilizer recommendation on both spatial and temporal scales to the farmers ensuring sustained soil health. The hazards of soil degradation and presence of pollutants in the soil adversely affect the soil health. The issue concerning soil degradation and pollutants has not been addressed on a priority basis to save our farmland’s capacity to produce food, feed, and fuel for the growing population.

Among different strategies for improving and sustaining soil health, balanced plant nutrition has a key role to play. The balanced fertilization as a prerequisite of high nutrient use efficiency has been well recognized for a long time. However, the acceptance and adoption of balanced fertilization at farmers’ level is far from the expectation. The major issues that restricted the adoption of balanced fertilization includes policy towards highly subsidized urea and lack of easily available and usable tools that can allow farmers and their advisors to implement balanced fertilization quickly in their fields.

The onslaught on soil quality is the act of all stakeholders – farmers, builders and common folks. The same stakeholders are the part of the protection and conservation programs too. Farmers are not adequately empowered with the right knowledge and know-how for sustainable soil health management. Also, there is lack of convergence and coordination of diverse R&D programs, interventions and investments spread across institutions, agencies and development departments which need to be welded together for time-bound output and impact.

Create an enabling environment for fertilizer use efficiency.



Mainstream organic recycling



Invest in arresting soil degradation




26 января 2021 года в Ташкентском государственном аграрном университете пройдет очередной семинар обучения женщин-фермеров «Улучшение навыков и знаний женщин-фермеров в практики ведения сельского хозяйства и агробизнеса, а также обмен опытом региональной сети университетских центров распространения знаний стран Центральной Азии».

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