The world can’t afford to keep wasting soil -Al Jazeera -SOIL

Check out this interesting article from Al Jazeera that stresses the value of EcoSan in a more sustainable agricultural system- not just in Haiti- but anywhere.  Check out the quote by our friends at SOIL, where Bochika has purchased over 15 bags of EcoSan on behalf of SAKALA Pax Christi Ayiti and the Tap Tap Garden.   Join Bochika and SOIL on January 22 for the Tap Tap Garden and Eco-San Toilet inauguration!

The world can’t afford to keep wasting soil

Stan Cox- Al Jazeera English

January 12, 2012.

Full Article: The world can’t afford to keep wasting soil – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

One-third of Earth’s soil is degraded because of unsustainable farming methods, which could lead to a major food crisis.

Salina, Kansas – Late last year, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released a hair-raising report on the state of the world’s soil and water resources. The bottomline: 25 per cent of the world’s food-producing soils are highly degraded or are rapidly being degraded. Add to that other soils which they say are degrading “moderately”, and the area under threat amounts to one-third of the Earth’s endowment of cropland.

Loss of productive soil, FAO reported, is most severe in the Himalayan and Andean regions; semi-arid tropical regions of Africa and India; rice-growing lands of Southeast Asia and areas of intensive and industrialised farming in Western Europe, North America, eastern China, India, Brazil and New Zealand.

“An organisation known as SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) is building networks that connect growing numbers of community toilets (ones that segregate liquid and solid wastes) with eco-sanitary composting facilities and fertiliser production and distribution. SOIL now operates the largest waste-treatment operation of any kind in Haiti while helping restore the country’s ravaged farmland and increase food production.”

According to the most recent Global Land Degradation Assessment, 18 countries – nine of them in sub-Saharan Africa and four in Southeast Asia – now see more than half of their entire land area going downhill rapidly. Countries whose land is in the worst trouble are often, but not always, countries where large numbers of people live in poverty. In just 10 countries – India, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Thailand, Mexico, Philippines, Democratic Republic of Congo, Vietnam and Burma – more than 530 million people are feeling the impact of land degradation directly. Worldwide, 1.5bn people are feeling it.

We humans now grow two-and-a-half to three times as much food as we did in 1960 while cultivating only 12 per cent more land area. It’s an extraordinary achievement, but the cost has been high. Tilling, fertilising and irrigating year after year damages the soil’s native structure, and the water that runs off into streams or percolates into groundwater can be laced with dangerous quantities of nitrates, pesticides or other pollutants.

The fate of the Earth’s agricultural lands is closely tied to the fate of its waters. Expansion of irrigation has been the biggest factor in increasing food production over the past half-century, and improving irrigation will be a key to boosting yields between now and 2050. But irrigation can deplete local water resources and disrupt the soil’s chemical balance. Furthermore, flooding of reservoirs has already driven tens of millions of people off of perfectly good forest and cropland around the world.

There’s More! Finish the Article at: Al Jazeera: The world can’t afford to keep wasting soil | SOIL.

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