Guest Author: Akhilesh Jain, Co-Founder of Agrotech India
09 December 2022, New Delhi: Soil is an incredible biological growth medium. The more common it is, the less we know about its amusing facts. For instance, you’ll be surprised to learn that there are more microorganisms in 1 tablespoon of soil than people on earth.
The life-bearer, an assorted mix of organic matter, gases, liquids, minerals, and microorganisms, supports life on earth. To celebrate this unique nature of the soil and spread awareness about diminishing soil health, every year, 5th December is celebrated as World Soil Day.
The Inception of World Soil Day
Under Thailand’s leadership, international organizations have advocated for a worldwide day to honor soil since 2002. After years of advocacy, in 2013, the UN General Assembly finally recognized and declared December 5 the first World Soil Day. Soil marks the beginning of life on earth and supports all living forms.
However, as per reports, the soil is degrading in most regions of India due to the overuse of fertilizers, antibiotics, and complex farm chemicals. In addition, soil erosion and deterioration have been brought on by mining, construction, and floods. For millennia, the soil has supported life on earth, and now it needs assistance. So, let’s consider conserving and keep in mind – that is where our roots are!
How is our Soil becoming stressed?
Global population growth, growing food security concerns, and climatic stressors have brought attention to the agriculture sector’s fragility, which depends on soil quality. A minor imbalance in microorganisms of soil due to unwanted chemicals and compounds can make the soil unhealthy. The key to soil health is a balance of its elements, which often gets disturbed by aggressive demand for agricultural outputs. Better and balanced fertility measures add to high-quality soil and, in turn, yields.
Solving Agricultural Stressors through tech
The recent problems with soil quality and agricultural yields can be solved with wide-scale technology adoption. Conventional farming methods can now be replaced by new technologies, including sensors, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence. Companies are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence to determine the potential causes of poor crop performance. Sensor technology connected to satellites can monitor and oversee larger farms and determine how much fertilizer, irrigation, or nutrient supplementation the soil needs. Data and Analytics can help convert insurmountable data into precise insights and help match supply to demand, helping farmer economies scale without disturbing the soil ecosystem.
Conclusion and Way Ahead
The 2022 World Soil Day theme is “Soils: Where Food Begins”. It not only emphasizes the importance of soil as the beginning of life but also highlights the changes in soil management and newer ways of conserving and protecting it.
This is precisely where technology adoption comes to play. Several hopes are pinned on the rising agritech sector as it can help feed the expanding population and employ practical methods to preserve soil health.
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