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Monday, October 28, 2013

Kenya launches first African soil atlas


The first Atlas of Africa that collects vital information on African soils has been launched in Nakuru, Kenya.

The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Sicily Kariuki  said at the Soil Science Society of East Africa and the African Soil Science Society conference in Nakuru that the soil atlas is to raise awareness on the significance of soil as a natural resource to farmers, politicians, agricultural stakeholders and the importance of the resource and how it affects livelihoods.

“Healthy and fertile soils are the cornerstones of food security, key environmental services, social cohesion and the economies of most African countries. Unfortunately, soil in Africa tends to reach public awareness only when it fails to feed the people living from it,” states the atlas.

According to the atlas, Africa is the only continent in the world where the annual per capita food production is lower than its estimated population growth because of land degradation and soil fertility decline over time.

The atlas further explains the origin and functions of soil, describing the different types of soil, their relevance to both local and global issues linked to soil with diagrams, illustration tables and maps and this has helped readers understand the information and research work, the principal threats to soil and the steps being taken to protect soil resources.

The soil atlas is said to form the basis for a Pan-African assessment on the state of soil resources and compiles the contributions of dozens of soil experts from Africa and Europe with useful information for policy makers and researchers.

NaijaAgroNet noted that the atlas will help to create strategies and structures for better land and water management practices which will lead to increased food production that will ensure food security and environmental protection.


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