Soil is one of the most overlooked ingredients in farming and yet it exists right beneath farmers’ feet. Healthy, fertile soils are an imperative starting point for agro-based development. But Africa’s soils are among the most degraded in the world. And this degradation continues as a result of deforestation, overgrazing of grasslands, continuous deep ploughing and inappropriate use that leads to the “mining” and depletion of soil nutrients.
Yet agriculture does not have to degrade soils. Good agriculture can, and should, restore nutrients, conserve water and prevent soil erosion.