#BTColumn – Urgent need – save the floor solutions!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.

by Dr. Madhuri Doma and Dr. Vijaya Thani

With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, man, equipped with sophisticated machinery, fueled by his greed and with a youthful idea that exploitation of nature would bring economic well-being, tore the planet apart.

What has flourished for millennia is being destroyed in a few hundred years.

The smarter species haven’t realized that the planet doesn’t need them, they need the planet. Massive deforestation, industrial agriculture, ranching, the burning of fossil fuels for industries and automobiles have poisoned the very resources that sustain life.

Most of these issues are fortunately taken care of by responsible governments, organizations and individuals.

But one aspect that urgently needs to be addressed and which has not received the necessary attention is the floor. According to scientists, the minimum organic matter content for an agricultural soil to be considered healthy is 3 to 6% and it is alarming to know that no country corresponds to this criterion.

According to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), every second an acre of soil turns into desert, by 2050, 90% of the earth’s soil could be degraded. If soil extinction is not prevented, food production will fall by 40% by 2045, when there will be 9.2 billion mouths to feed on the planet.

And on the other hand, healthy soil rich in microbial content can provide cost-effective solutions to several ecological and social problems such as global warming, water scarcity, food and nutrition security, to name a few- one.

Soil regeneration requires long-term policies.

The implementation of long-term government policies requires the support of the population, and this support can only be generated by raising awareness.

To serve this important purpose, the Save Soil movement was launched in March this year by Sadhguru, a yogi and visionary to raise global awareness of land degradation and press the urgent need for action.

In early March, he traveled to the Caribbean and six Caribbean countries, including Barbados, have already signed memorandums of understanding showing their commitment to saving soils. On March 21, Sadhguru embarked on a 100-day motorcycle journey covering 30,000 km across 27 nations from London, with the journey reaching its final leg culminating in India on June 21.

The Save Soil movement aims to make ecological awareness and awareness economically profitable. A three-pronged strategy was presented to 197 parties at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) of the UNCCD in Côte d’Ivoire with an overarching goal of a minimum of 3-6% organic content in agricultural soils:

1. An appropriately phased program to inspire and incentivize farmers.

2. Simplify the process by which farmers benefit from carbon credits.

3. Develop a special label for soil-grown foods with target levels of biological content and promote the health benefits of these foods.

The Save Soil website, Consciousplanet.org, offers a treasure trove of soil-related facts that are derived from scientific data and presented in a simplified and aesthetic way, making it easy for everyone to understand. By signing up as an earth mate, you can become the voice of the earth.

Let us all come together to support this inclusive global movement that has soil health and the economic well-being of farmers at heart. The farmer who has love for his land in his heart should reap the most!

Dr. Madhuri Doma is a radiologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Dr. Vijaya Thani, MBBS, Dip
Family medicine.

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