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PH gov’t joins FAO in call against soil erosion

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have joined forces with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in intensifying call against soil erosion.

DA’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) OIC Director Sonia Salguero said it is not yet too late for more people to get involved in the global effort to stop soil erosion.

“We encourage everyone to do their part in soil conservation,” she said as the country celebrated the World Soil Day.

Speaking on behalf of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, DA Undersecretary and Chief-of-Staff Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero talked about the need for sustainable soil and water management and how it can be attained through the new thinking in Philippine agriculture.

“We will vigorously develop and implement soil and water resources programs and technologies that will ensure the sustainability and viability of our resources,” Caballero said.

She also shared about the Secretary’s advocacy for a science-based climate smart and competitive Philippine agriculture and how he founded the InangLupa Movement.

For his part, DENR Undersecretary for Environment and International Environment Affairs Jonas Leones, who represented Secretary Roy Cimatu, expressed the DENR’s support to the campaign for soil conservation.

He pledged the DENR’s commitment to continue working with the DA and other relevant agencies for sustainable land management initiatives.

Soil erosion, or the removal of the most fertile top layer of soil from the land surface, occurs naturally, but it is accelerated up to 1,000 times by unsustainable human activities.

The FAO reported that human-induced erosion is mainly cause by the removal of vegetative cover, down-slope tillage, overgrazing, deforestation, land levelling, and improper land-use changes.

Assistant FAO Representative in the Philippines, Tamara Duran, stressed that soil erosion can decrease soil health and productivity affecting the number and quality of crops that can be produced.

According to her, everyone should help raise awareness on the importance of soil health, because it will have an effect on human health since 95 percent of the food come from the soil.

It can take up to 1,000 years to produce two to three centimeters of soil. If nothing is done, soil erosion could lead up to 10 percent loss in crop production by 2050.


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