Submitted by Tatumn Zale, Development Associate
The 5th of December is World Soil Day. Soil is the ultimate life supply for healthy food, ecology, and a healthy planet as a whole! This day is marked each year to commemorate the birthday of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning king. King Adulyadej was a proponent of soil research and conservation, and he left a legacy that promoted sustainable land resource management.
With agricultural demand “increasing” all the time – no pun intended – healthy soil ecosystems are more crucial than ever! World Soil Day, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, aims to raise awareness about rising population numbers, food security, and soil degradation. Soil affects all beings on the planet, therefore it’s no surprise that this year’s event will take place in over 100 nations across the world. The United Nations, world governing bodies, international organizations, civil society, the commercial sector, and individual stakeholders are all encouraged to participate in World Soil Day activities.
This year’s campaign, “Halt soil salinization, Boost soil productivity” [hashtags: #WorldSoilDay], points out the dangers of soil salinity. Soil salinity is the salt content of the soil, which occurs naturally. The world’s ground has become increasingly salinized due to the rising demand for water and evaporation. A surge in soil salinity results in soil dispersion, erosion, and poor seedbeds.
Advance operates in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Mozambique and Peru to help communities combat the agricultural effects of poor soil on crop production. Through our local agriculture assistance program, the small town of Guerrahuayco in the Bolivian Andes rewrote their story. As part of the program, local production experts host regular technical assistance pieces of training, educating rural farmers on best practices to increase their yield. Donations of quality supplies and starter seeds gave this town the best chance of success. A year later, we were told that the farmers sold their crops EIGHT TIMES what they sold for last year.
There are so many ways to celebrate with us this year:
- Start a School (or Home) Composting Program: If your household or local community doesn’t have a food scrap composting bin – you can start one! Start your compost pile on bare earth and add your compost material in layers! Every few weeks, give the pile a quick turn with a pitchfork or shovel.
- Post a picture: WSD2021 asks participants worldwide to post images of black soil they have seen with the hashtag #WorldSoilDaY ON Dec 5.