Marking the end of the International Year of Family Farming: ‘The answer’s in the soil’

| December 12, 2014

Download this story

The year 2014 has been celebrated globally as the International Year of Family Farming. To mark the end of a successful campaign, Barza Wire is highlighting the essential role that soil plays in agriculture.

All farmers depend on the soil to grow crops, raise animals, and feed and clothe the families which they support.

Soil is the foundation of food, feed, fuel and fibre production. Unhealthy soils lead to unhealthy ecosystems and disrupt human well-being. Soil is the reservoir for at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and therefore requires the same level of attention as above-ground biodiversity.

Healthy soils play a key role in supplying clean water and resisting the damaging effects of floods and droughts. The largest store of terrestrial carbon is in the soil; thus, preserving soil can help farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change. It is essential to maintain and enhance global soil resources to meet humanity’s need for food, water, and energy.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization celebrated World Soil Day on December 5, 2014. The website of FAO’s Global Soil Partnership contains resources that individuals, communities and organizations can use to promote healthy soils and soil biodiversity.

For more information, go to:

Other publications, plus audio and video productions on the International Year of Family Farming, are available at this link: