Healthy soils are the foundation of the food system. They produce healthy crops and in turn a high yield. Over the last 50 years, advances in agricultural technology and increased demand due to a growing population have put our soils under increasing pressure. In many countries, intensive crop production has depleted the soil, jeopardizing the soils productive capacity and ability to meet the needs of future generations.
A healthy soil is a living, dynamic ecosystem, with microscopic and larger organisms that perform many vital functions including:
- converting dead and decaying matter as well as minerals to plant nutrients
- controlling plant disease, insect and weed pests
- improving soil structure with positive effects for soil water and nutrient holding capacity
- improving crop production