Soil degradation imperils region’s agriculture – BuenosAiresHerald.com

Soil degradation imperils region’s agriculture

By Marianela Jarroud

IPS (*)

Up to 33 percent of the planet’s land is degraded by physical, chemical or biological causes

SANTIAGO — Latin America and the Caribbean should use sustainable production techniques to ensure healthy soil, the basic element in agriculture, food production and the fight against hunger.

“Keeping the soil healthy makes food production possible,” said Raúl Benítez, regional director for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “Without good soil, food production is undermined, and becomes more difficult and costly.”

“We are often not aware that it can take 1,000 years to generate one centimetre of healthy soil, but we can lose that centimetre in a few seconds as a result of pollution, toxic waste, or misuse of the soil,” he said.

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