Saturday, March 25

Soil Solution-The Gambia commemorates World Soil Day

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By: Musa O. Bah

Soil Solution-The Gambia in partnership with the Soil and Water Management Services Unit under the Department of Agriculture and with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization recently celebrated World Soil Day in Kerewan Badibou, North Bank Region

The theme of this year’s commemoration is ‘Soils, where food begins.’

In his statement, Mr. Ebrima Jarra, executive director of Soil Solution said WSD aimed to raise awareness on the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the key challenges related to soil fertility, soil health and nutrient imbalance.

“World Soil Day (WSD) celebration in The Gambia is a unique platform that celebrates soils and engage citizens to improve soil health in The Gambia,” he added.

He described soils as most essential for life on earth but was quick to add that it has been threaten by multiple forms of degradation, noting soil erosion and soil nutrient imbalance has been identified as part of the-top ten threats to soils in the NBR causing negative environmental, social, and economical effects in the area.

However, he called on all stakeholders to work with the Soil Solution in protecting the soils to ensure food security in the country, saying 95 percent of human foods come from the soils either directly or indirectly.

Mr. Abdou Rahman Jobe, Director of Soil and Water Management Services under the Ministry of Agriculture said soil provide living space for human as well as essential ecosystem services which are important for water regulation and supply, climate regulation, biodiversity conversation, carbon sequestration and cultural services.

However, he said soils are under pressure from increases in population, high demands for foods and competing land uses.

John Mendy, Director of Agriculture for the North Bank Region said: “About one third of soils worldwide are already degraded, and the loss of soil fertility means that land is less productive and many cereals, vegetable and fruits are not as rich in vitamins and nutrients as they were 70 years ago,” he said while called for collective soil management to ensure crop productivity.”

Representing the Regional Governor Sanna Colley urged farmers to continue engaging agriculturist to enhance agricultural productivity to ensure food security in the country.