Awareness DayKnowledge

World Soil Day 5th December 2023 Theme

“To Forget how to
Tend the Soils is to
Forget Ourselves” – Mahatma Gandhi

Soil provides essential environmental resources for life and provides a home to billions of species which contributes to biodiversity and contains much of the antibiotics used to tackle diseases. People use soil as a solid waste disposal plant, a drainage collector and a base for our towns and cities. Finally, soil is the foundation of our nation’s crop, food and fuel agroecosystems.

World Soil Day (WSD) 2023 Theme

5 December, World Soil Day (WSD), is a UN Observance Day celebrating fertile soils for a food-safe future.

This year the theme of World Soil Day 2023 is – Soil and Water – a Source of life

The basis for food production, ecosystems, and human welfare is provided by soil and water. We may act proactively to protect these resources for future generations because we recognize their vital responsibilities;

The environment in which plants develop and acquire vital nutrients is soil and water;

80 percent of croplands are used for rainfed agriculture systems, which produce sixty percent of the world’s food. Effective methods for managing soil moisture are crucial to these systems.

Similar to humans, good soil requires a balanced and diversified supply of nutrients in the right amounts. If soils are not maintained sustainably, fertility is gradually lost, and soils will yield nutrient-deficient plants. Agricultural systems lose nutrients with every harvest.

One of the most concerning aspects of soil deterioration is the loss of valuable nutrients. It is acknowledged as one of the most important global issues for sustainability and food security anywhere in the world.

The amount of vitamins and nutrients in food has severely reduced over the past 70 years, and it is believed that 2 billion people worldwide suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, sometimes known as hidden hunger due to its covert nature.

The primary driving forces of nutrient cycling are soil species, controlling soil organic matter dynamics, carbon dioxide sequestration and emission of greenhouse gaseous materials, changing the physical structure of soil and water systems, enhancing nutrient acquisition by vegetation and improving plant health.

Some Key facts about Soil

  • Soil is a living resource that comprises more than a quarter (25%) of the biodiversity of our world.
  • Up to 90% of living organisms live or spend part of their life in soils, but only 1% of this hidden universe are known.
  • Soil organisms allow soils to store carbon and minimize emissions of GHGs.
  • One hectare of soil contains the equal weight of two bacterial cows.
  • Every 24 hours an earthworm can ingest its own weight in the soil. Every year 50% of the planet’s soil passes through the gut of earthworms.
  • Biodiversity of soils is an integral part of soil conservation. Healthy soils make food better and more nutritious. 95% of our food comes from soils.

Swikriti Dandotia