Excess salt in soils puts food security at risk: FAO

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Soil salinization refers to excessive levels of brackish successful the soil, which tin inhibit works maturation and adjacent beryllium toxic to life.  It tin hap naturally, for illustration successful deserts owed to deficiency of h2o and aggravated evaporation, oregon arsenic a effect of quality activity. 

FAO is highlighting the contented successful marking World Soil Day connected Friday, up of the authoritative commemoration connected Sunday. 

Soils astatine risk 

“Soil is the instauration of agriculture and the world’s farmers beryllium connected ungraded to nutrient astir 95 per cent of the nutrient we eat.  Yet, our soils are astatine risk,” said Qu Dongyu, the agency’s Director-General, successful beforehand of the Day, which is organized astir the taxable of Halt ungraded salinization, boost ungraded productivity. 

FAO said unsustainable cultivation practices and the overexploitation of earthy resources, arsenic good arsenic a increasing planetary population, are putting accrued unit connected soils and causing alarming rates of ungraded degradation worldwide. 

More than 833 cardinal hectares of soils are already salt-affected, representing astir 9 per cent of the world’s onshore surface, oregon astir 4 times the size of India. 

Salt-affected soils hap successful each continents, and nether astir each climatic conditions, but much than two-thirds are successful arid and semi-arid zones. 

Some of the regions astir affected are successful Central Asia, the Middle East, South America, North Africa and the Pacific. 

Challenges successful Uzbekistan  

Uzbekistan, located successful Central Asia, is the world’s largest landlocked country, and is successful crook surrounded by different landlocked nations. More than fractional the soils determination are salt-affected, making it highly hard to workplace productively.  

Adyl Khujanov runs a workplace successful the colony of Kyzylkesek, situated successful the Karakalpakstan portion successful occidental Uzbekistan, which is considered the hottest and driest spot successful the country. 

“I’ve been farming this onshore each of my beingness and seen truthful galore radical from this country permission implicit the years due to the fact that of the heat, adust upwind and h2o shortages,” helium told FAO recently. 

However, successful different regions of the world, ungraded salination is attributed to unsustainable quality activities.  These see implicit usage of fertilizers, inappropriate irrigation methods, mediocre prime water, and deforestation. 

Learning caller methods  

FAO works with countries to enactment them successful managing ungraded resources. 

In Uzbekistan, FAO’s Global Soil Partnership (GSP) collaborates with scientists to make climate-smart ungraded absorption practices truthful that crops successful salt-affected areas tin thrive.  

“Thanks to caller methods which we person learnt and adopted present to header with clime alteration and terrible h2o shortages, I tin turn tomatoes, melons, pulses and forage crops to provender animals,” said Mr. Khujanov. 

Reliable information critical 

FAO has besides stressed the value of generating reliable ungraded data, though it warns that galore countries look challenges successful this area. 

The bureau has published the Global Soil Laboratory Assessment Report, which reveals that retired of 142 countries surveyed, 55 per cent deficiency capable capableness for ungraded analysis.  Most are successful Africa and Asia. 

At the report’s launch, Mr. Qu underlined the request for concern successful ungraded laboratories to supply reliable information that volition pass dependable decisions for ensuring sustainable ungraded absorption and preventing degradation. 

He said the caller adoption of a caller Soil Strategy by the European Union (EU) is simply a affirmative example, mounting factual and ambitious targets to amended ungraded wellness wrong and extracurricular the bloc. 

FAO recalled that the captious relation of steadfast soils successful clime alteration mitigation and adaptation and successful gathering resilience figured prominently astatine the COP26 league past month. 

The bureau has called connected each countries to urgently amended their ungraded accusation and capacities by making stronger commitments towards sustainable ungraded management. 

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