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Bad soil puts food security at risk
9/14/2011
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FAO urges renovation of soils to increase food production.

Jacques Diouf, director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is warning that soil degradation is threatening global food security.

“Soil is an essential component of the world’s production systems and ecosystems,” Diouf said upon launching the Global Soil Partnership for Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation on Sept. 7. “But it is also a fragile and non-renewable resource. It is very easily degraded and it is slow, difficult and expensive to regenerate.”

The campaign intends to raise awareness about and encourage policy-makers to take steps to preserve soils, and, in turn, food security.

Competition for land use and high consumption of soil and water cut down the chances of food security, Diouf added.
In 1982, the Rome-based FAO adopted the World Soil Charter, which outlined the basic principles for sustainable soil management and protection, but Diouf said there has been “long delays” in its implementation.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, more than a quarter of the area of Mexico and Central America and 14 percent of South America has soil degradation problems due to poor farming practices as well as erosion and deforestation.
—Latinamerica Press.


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