On the occasion of “World Soil Day”, which is celebrated every December 5, Costa Rica joined, along with 10 other nations, the initiative “Living Soils of the Americas”, which is led by the Nobel Prize winner of Peace (2007) Rattan Lal. With the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), this professor from Ohio State University seeks new alternatives to help reverse soil degradation.
“We need to produce more, protect the environment and restore degraded soils. That is why we adopt a soil-focused approach to reconcile the needs of achieving food and nutritional security with that of restoring nature and mitigating global warming,” Lal assured during the opening event.
“We are going to adopt a second green revolution focused on the soil, to include small agricultural producers, in the Caribbean, for example. Our goal is not to leave any farmer behind”, he added about this project that encompasses a cooperation between public and private sectors.
What does the Project consist of?
Recently, Lal was also awarded the World Food Prize, which is considered by experts as the Nobel Prize for agriculture. This is due to his continuous work in pursuit of small farmers. The program consists of technical cooperation between experts, governments, international organizations, universities, and the private sector to stop processes of land and agricultural degradation that deplete soil organic matter.
Its main objective will be the formulation of public policies and regulations, land management practices, and incentives to transform agricultural systems into ecosystems that accumulate more carbon in soils and that allow the development of better management methods.
The country was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Renato Alvarado, who highlighted the importance of the project. “We have focused on seeking the sustainability of our farmers, they must be profitable, economically viable to stay in production,” he added.
Precisely, in relation to this issue, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations had already indicated, since 2015, that 10% of Costa Rica suffers from serious problems of erosion, loss of fertility, and other problems in the soil. This according to the data of the Advisory Commission regarding Land Degradation (Cadeti).