On Monday (December 5), Kenya joined other countries in commemorating the World Soil Day. This is a special day set aside every year to create awareness on the importance of having healthy soils.
This year’s theme was ‘Soils, Where Food Begins’.
Many are not aware that 95 percent of our food comes from the soil. The food that we eat comes mainly from plants, which in turn get nutrients from small living organisms, minerals and organic components, all of which live in the soil.
According to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, it is estimated that two billion people worldwide suffer from lack of micronutrients due to a drastic decrease in the levels of vitamins and nutrients in food over the past 70 years.
The climate change crisis has drastically affected food production especially here in Africa.
A healthy ecosystem
To mitigate the crisis, we need to create awareness on the importance of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and upholding good soil management.
Farmers should be advised on the importance of conducting soil tests to help them determine the levels of acidity or alkalinity before planting their crops.
Secondly, the public should be taught how to prevent soil erosion, which leads to soil degradation.
Most importantly, they need to embrace organic farming, as industrial chemicals like pesticides and herbicides end up killing beneficial micro-organisms that provide plants with nutrients.
Good soil management is key to mitigating the effects of climate change and boosting food production.
Toxic fumes and water waste should be treated before being released into the environment.
The government should come up with a policy framework and supporting legislation to ensure proper soil soils management as part of its climate action and food security agenda.
Mr Wafula is a media and communication student at Rongo University.