GUWAHATI: World Soil Day is observed across the world to highlight the importance of soil in sustaining life on earth. It also attempts to promote sustainable management of the fertile layer of soil.
The event was first organised in the year 2014 when it was celebrated in a very limited number of locations. And now 125 nations are part of the event to preserve fertile soil layers. The celebration includes scientists, farmers, experts and other enthusiasts towards the cause.
Although the earth has huge areas of land, only a very limited region has soil capable enough to support growth. It supports life on the planet by providing essential nutrients to plants which in turn is the food for a large spectrum of living beings, both directly and indirectly. It is also the home of a huge number of microorganisms which work tirelessly to maintain the balance of life. They recycle the micronutrients, decompose organic matter and some even absorb particles from the atmosphere to put them back in the soil. And thus making an integral part of the foundation of all food systems.
But over the years, unplanned development and industrialization have led not only to the loss of topsoil by erosion and other environmental factors but also by being contaminated by human activities. Dumping of waste from households as well as industries is one the main causes of soil pollution. As plastic and other harmful materials make their way into the soil, the fertility keeps on decreasing the productivity of the soil.
This year's theme for the celebration is 'Soils: Where food begins'. It aims to bring issues related to soil management and its importance to the limelight and encourage societies to enhance soil health. It also aims to increase the understanding in terms of sustaining healthy ecosystems and healthy humans.