For any soil to have agricultural potential, it must have a minimum of 3-6% organic content. But in large parts of the world, it is well below 1%. In fact, records show that across the planet, not a single country has soil with a minimum of 3% organic content. In the last 25 years, an estimated 10% of the earth’s land has become desert.
If we want to reclaim soil, the first and foremost narrative that needs to change in the world is the popular perception of what soil is. It needs to be understood that soil is living, not dead material. Even now, many agricultural scientists, universities and agricultural departments appear to address soil as a ‘material’. Their approach remains: ‘It just needs a little more nitrogen, a little more potassium, a little more phosphorus.’ No, what soil needs is living organisms.
Consider this. A handful of soil has over 5 billion organisms, sometimes over 7 billion. It is from this microbial life that all other life on this planet has evolved. If all these microbes were to die, we would be finished. But every year, on an average, 27,000 species in the soil habitat are going extinct. And for this, humanity and every other form of life is paying a heavy price.
Soil is in such a dangerous situation right now that in another 50-60 years, United Nations agencies say that there will be no agricultural soil left to grow anything, because the organic content of soil is in deep decline.