To pave the way to the International Year of Soils in 2015, Farming First hosted a dynamic twitter chat on World Soil Day (5th December) exploring the topic of soil health – and its role in the fight for food security.
The expert panel included Amit Roy, President and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), Professor Richard Mkandawire, Vice President of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), Ronald Vargas, Secretary of the Global Soil Partnership at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Juliet Braslow, Soil Area Co-ordinator for the Centro International de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) and Machteld Schoolenberg, soil scientist and YPARD Netherlands representative.
Discussions were based around four questions that Farming First put to the panel:
- How is poor soil health currently impacting the global population?
- What interventions and policies are needed to manage our soils sustainably?
- Which projects and resources around the world are already successfully improving soil health?
- How can we scale up soil health projects?
Panelists responded with a wealth of knowledge:
A lively audience kept the panel on their toes by posing many real-time questions of their own – leading the discussion in new directions.
Everyone, from audience to panelists, shared a range of resources that illustrate work to boost soil health in action, from articles and photos to blogs and full case studies. Explore the range of resources shared below:
- IFDC: Expert View from Dr. Amit Roy, published by International Fertilizer Industry Association
- CIAT: Infographic on declining soil quality
- CGIAR WLE month of blogs on restoring soils and landscapes
- IFDC: How fertilizers can improve African agriculture
- CIAT/CGIAR chapter on Integrated Soil Fertility Management in Central Africa
- PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment agency report on how changes in technology and consumption patterns can promote sustainability
- FAO: “Let’s talk about soil” video
- Conservation International: Edward Norton is “Soil” video
- CIAT: Infographic on the cost of land degradation
- WOCAT database of sustainable land management technologies
- Environmental Management Journal: Monitoring and Modelling sustainable land management technologies in areas prone to land degradation
- IFDC: World Soil Day video
- CGIAR blog: Time to break free from the ‘yield-gap-trap’
- FAO: World Soil Day website
- IFDC website: Integrated soil fertility management
- FAO report: Updated World Soil Charter
- BBC news article: African soil crisis threatens food security
- Agriculture for Impact: Montpeller Panel report on soil “No Ordinary Matter”
- EAT, USAID & AFAP: on how to build enabling environments for fertiliser use
- FAO: Objectives of IYS 2015
- CIAT: Infographic on why we need wide scale sustainable land management
- The Cascade Project – Twitter Profile
- IFDC, USAID: How fertilisers can improve maize yields in Mozambique
- Twitter list from Machteld Schoolenberg: Working restoration/degradation people and projects
- CIAT blog: Making informed decisions on how to invest in land protection
- FAO: Kagera TAMP
- CIAT: Quesungual agroforestry to minimize erosion
- Fintrac: Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness project, case study on soil quality
- VFRC: Establishing a Viable Fertilizer Quality Detection System
- Global Landscape Forum: Information about a landscape approach
- CGIAR, CCFAS: Climate smart farming in Tanzania increasing yields
- CIAT: The importance of overlooked micronutrients
- FAO: Why do we need a global soil partnership?
- USAID: Replanting degraded forests in Cambodia to decrease soil erosion
- CIAT: The importance of including women in agriculture
- IFDC: How the needs of the farmer need to be number one priority by Amit Roy
- New Republic: Whats wrong with International Development and how to fix it
- CIAT: variability in soil means that protection and restoration need to be just as varied
- SSSA videos: The formation of soil and how it sustains life
- FAO: Plan of action for IYS 2015
- Feed the Future: Website on new agricultural technologies
- Machteld Schoolenberg: A serious Game for Agricultural Development – how innovation can engage youth in agriculture
- Machteld Schoolenberg: Thesis on detecting land change with remote sensing
- FAO: The role of crop diversification for sustainable diets and nutrition
- CIAT: Ways to improve farm productivity through agronomic surveys
- FAO: Report on innovation in family farming
- CIAT: Infographic on sustainable land management and fertilisers
- ISRIC map: Soil grids 1km, mapping global soils
- Twitter profile: Farm Carbon Cutting Tool Kit, information and advice to farmers on lowering carbon emissions
- E-Agriculture: How remote sensing from satellites can help food security by monitoring soil moisture
- International Fertilizer Industry Association: Expert views on Soil & Fertilizer
For a full round up of the discussion, check out the Storify summary of the whole Twitter Chat: