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By 2050, 90% of Earth's soils could be degraded, unless we act now.(UNCCD, 2020) #SaveSoil savesoil.org

Soil is the basis of our lives. But...

Agriculture, deforestation, and other factors have degraded and eroded topsoil at alarming rates. Globally, 52% of agricultural land is already degraded. The planet is in crisis. If current rates of soil degradation continue, this would be the end of life as we know it.

Sustainable Soil Management For Kenyans

Tropical - Lowland and Highland - Croplands



Intercropping Push-pull system (intercropping strategy for controlling agricultural pests by using repellent "push" plants and trap "pull" plants) maize is intercropped with the leguminous plant Desmodium, while a popular fodder crop, Napier grass, is planted as a border around the field. In push-pull systems, stem borers and the parasitic weed Striga are the bane of maize fields in Africa causing crop losses of from 20 to 80 percent.

Both Desmodium and Napier grass are perennial crops that provide year-round soil cover, which helps retain soil moisture, improves soil structure, prevents erosion, and makes the agro-ecosystem more resilient to drought and other extreme weather events. Since it is a leguminous plant. Desmodium also fixes nitrogen in the soil and makes it available to the maize crop. Almost half of the push-pull farmers had adapted the system to allow for the intercropping of maize with beans and other grain legumes, such as groundnuts, soybeans and cowpeas, and vegetables such as kale. Integrating beans in the system does not reduce Desmodium’s effect on Striga and stem borers.

Adaptation of push-pull to drier areas and to climate change - identify and incorporate into the system two drought-tolerant companion plants: Greenleaf desmodium as an intercrop, and Brachiaria grass as a border plant.

Sustainable Soil Management Species

Maize , demodium, napier grass, greenleaf desmodium as an intercrop, brachiaria grass as a border plant.

Economic Benefits

Trials showed that maize plots not only suffered little stem borer damage, but were almost completely Striga-free. 75% of farmers said their yields increased 3 to 4 times, Some were harvesting 5 tonnes of maize per ha from fields that had previously produced less than 1 tonne. 

Soil: A holistic solution

Almost every major ecological crisis is, to some degree or form, a consequence or symptom of the degradation of soil. Similarly, almost every environmental or environment-related pain point can be addressed by creating healthy soil.

It is, in fact, a fallacy to think we can address any one aspect of our environment without addressing the whole, because no aspect of the ecosystem functions in isolation. No solution is complete until we become conscious that life is one single complex phenomenon, all of which is happening in unison. In many ways, Soil is the underlying platform upon which life springs forth. If we fix soil, we have the best chance of fixing the whole.


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