Daniel Halliday
Dec 1 · Last update 9 days ago.
What can urban citizens do to help combat soil degradation?
One third of the world’s soils are thought to be degraded due to soil pollution and aggressive agriculture or mining techniques, leading one UN official to speculate that humanity only has 60 years of sustainable agriculture left. With a continually growing global population the prospect of future soils being unable to produce enough food to sustain a larger population is seeming like a growing possibility. However food is the beginning of a long list of wide ranging implications that make soil degradation seem like a much more pressing environmental issue than even climate change. But with the majority of the human populous living in urban areas it is understandable that most would feel powerless to have any impact on this particular problem. So, with that in mind, what can urban citizens do to mitigate the damage to soil caused by agriculture, mining and soil pollution?
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Aggressive farming practices such as the use of agrochemicals, multiple harvest farming and even basic farming techniques such as tilling (turning over the soil) degrade nutrient quality and microorganism biodiversity so that soil cannot hold water or sustain plant life. Unfortunately the remedy for such problems for many farmers is further use of agrochemicals, intensifying the problem. Something as simple as buying organic food can mean a city dweller is less likely to be sponsoring the use of unsustainable farming practices, as organic farms at least have limits to using chemicals and will be more likely to invest in natural fertilisers.

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