Erosion of Food? Image: Soil Erosion at Hill Farm)

It appears soil erosion is becoming one of the worlds greatest threats to food production. Erosion is the process by which soil and rock are removed from the Earth’s surface by exogenetic processes such as wind or water flow, and then transported and deposited in other location. It is estimated that more than a thousand million tones of southern Africa’s soil are eroded every year. And in recent studies, experts predict that crop yields will be halved within thirty to fifty years if erosion continues at present rates in Africa. Although current threats are present in Africa, soil erosion is not unique to Africa in any way. While erosion is commonly seen as a natural process, it is human activities that have increased it by 10 – 40 times the normal or natural rate (and that’s globally!).

Soil erosion is occurring worldwide, as I expressed before. The phenomenon is known as Peak soil, the present larger factory farming techniques used are seen as the main cause of this world wide. If efforts are not made to improve soil management within these practicing companies, the availability of arable soil (or land that can be used for growing crops) will become increasingly problematic.

Again, industrial agriculture, deforestation, roads, anthropogenic climate change, and urban sprawl are amongst the most significant human activities in regard to their effect on stimulating erosion. And even though it might seem hopeless or frightening, don’t get too scared there are many available alternative land use practices that can curtail or limit erosion.

This include : Terrace – building,no-till agriculture or Farming (a way to grow crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage – or the agricultural preparation of the soil by mechanical agitation of various types: digging, stirring, and overturning), Keyline design(a technique for maximizing beneficial use of water resources of a piece of land), Growing wind breaks to hold the soil, Incorporating organic matter back into fields, Stop the use of chemical fertilizers (which contain salt), Protecting soil from water runoff and revegetation of denuded soils.


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