95% of its food that is grown worldwide is produced in the top 10 centimetres of soil, making topsoil one of the most important components of our food system.
As we celebrate World Soil Day on Saturday, 5th December, we are reminded of the vital role that soil has to play in our survival on planet earth.
Intensive agriculture and the conventional farming practices that have emerged over the past century have resulted in a massive depletion of this nutrients that give our soil its vital ability to grow food.
Poor land use has degraded millions of acres that once supported food production worldwide, while soil continues to degrade at rates that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) predict could lead to a loss of all topsoil, within 60 years.
It’s why Self Help Africa promotes and trains and supports hundreds of thousands of farming households annually to carefully manage and protect this precious resource. It’s why we promote crop rotation, natural composting, application of manures and natural fertilisers and planting trees on the land. It’s also why we encourage growing complimentary crops, and why we promote a broad range of ‘climate smart’ farming techniques including zero tillage and the retention of ground cover where crops are being grown.