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Soil: The best friend of Farmer

Priyanka Menon
Priyanka Menon
soil day
Protecting our soil

Soil Day is observed around the world on December 5 at the call of the United Nations. World Soil Day has been celebrated since 2002. The main goal of this day is ‘Stop Erosion and protect our future’.

The World Food Programme indicates that about 33% of the soil is depleted. Soil is just as important for human survival as air and water. Clean soil is essential for life on earth. Soil is the basis of human existence. Farmers know the importance of quality soil. Fertile soil is the most important factor in agriculture. The soil can store up to three times its volume of water. This accumulation is responsible for the growth of microorganisms that fertilize the soil.

Soil contains 50% fungi, 20% bacteria, 20% yeast, algae, protozoa and 10% earthworms and other microorganisms. The soil itself plays an important role in making the soil fertile. The soil has a special ability to absorb and fertilize everything that reaches the soil. Soil studies have shown that 10 grams of topsoil contains at least 1200 species of microorganisms. Topsoil is soil to a depth of 10 to 15 cm above the surface. The soil enriches itself without human help. Soil has the ability to absorb excess carbon in the atmosphere. But excessive fertilization process destroys the vitality of the soil. Fertilizers like urea destroy soil microorganisms and destroy soil fertility.

Excessive use of fertilizers is one of the major causes of soil erosion. Soil erosion is creating a severe crisis for farmers. The ratio of healthy soil is 45% mineral, 25% air and water and 5% organic matter. Excessive fertilizer application, erosion and pollution have affected the water storage capacity of the soil and caused loss of soil microbial biomass. Potassium, Magnesium, Boron, Silicon and Calcium were found to be depleted in the soil. About 16 tons of topsoil is destroyed per hectare every year. The most basic requirement for cultivation is good fertile topsoil. The fertile topsoil, which takes billions of years, is destroyed in a matter of seconds by human negligence.

After many years of rain, wind, and snow, all the rocks are crushed and the soil is formed by the presence of plant debris. It is estimated that it takes a hundred to a thousand years for new soil to form about a centimetre thick. Soil degradation kills billions of microorganisms. Plastic packets and pesticides destroy soil biomass and thereby interfere with the survival of microorganisms. Not only the soil but also our water and air are highly polluted today. This is exactly what led to climate change and global warming.

We all need to be aware of sustainable soil management. Let us not forget that soil plays an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of the earth. We need to restore soil health by integrating traditional soil conservation methods, organic farming methods and scientific tests. When using soil minerals to produce everything likes petroleum, plastic etc, we must remember that soil is the basis of human life ...

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