Stories tagged: international year of soils

#IYS2015 Twitter Chat Summary – “Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life”

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:

  1. How is poor soil health currently impacting the global population?
  2. What interventions and policies are needed to manage our soils sustainably?
  3. Which projects and resources around the world are already successfully improving soil health?
  4. How can we scale up soil health projects?

Panelists responded with a wealth of knowledge:

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A lively audience kept the panel on their toes by posing many real-time questions of their own – leading the discussion in new directions.

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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:

For a full round up of the discussion, check out the Storify summary of the whole Twitter Chat:






Video: Putting Soil Health Back on the Global Agenda

Farming First TV interviewed Charlotte Hebebrand, the Director General of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), on why it is so important to shine a spotlight on the importance of soil health.

Ms. Hebebrand observed that although soils are crucial for agriculture, they are often taken for granted and have historically suffered from overuse. To replace the nutrients used up by crop growth farmers need training in right type, timing, placement and rate of fertilizer application, known as the 4Rs of nutrient stewardshipContinue reading

Talking Dirt – 15 Ways Soil Is Getting Healthier

It’s time to start talking dirt as we enter the United Nations’ International Year of Soils!

Soil is the natural resource responsible for providing the vital nutrients our crops need to grow strong, healthy and abundant, yet its health has been overlooked in the global food security debate. Currently, nearly one-third of the earth’s land area is degraded, affecting an estimated 3.2 billion people who rely on this land for their food and livelihoods.

In the next installment of our “content mash-up” series – we bring you stories from Farming First supporters who are rising to the challenge to make soil healthier for future generations. Continue reading

Video: Why do we need an International Year of Soils?

Ahead of World Soil Day on 5th December, Farming First TV spoke to Ronald Vargas, of the Global Soil Partnership at the Food and Agriculture Organization, about why the United Nations agency has declared an International Year of Soils in 2015.

Mr. Vargas explains that although soil is crucial for food production, and human health is dependent on nutrients “the knowledge on how to handle nutrients is not…shared.” An International Year of Soils, he explains, could bring together lots of different initiatives, to join forces to bring the issue of soil health to the global food security agenda. Continue reading