In normal agricultural soil, the minimum organic content should be between 3–6 percent, but in large parts of the world, it is well below 1 percent.
Published: 01st May 2022 05:00 AM | Last Updated: 30th April 2022 03:18 PM | A+A A-
Image used for representational purposes only( File photo | PTI)
In normal agricultural soil, the minimum organic content should be between 3–6 percent, but in large parts of the world, it is well below 1 percent. What this means is most agricultural soil on the planet is inching towards desertification. The United Nations agencies are saying that the planet may have agricultural soil only for another 80–100 crops. That means we would run out of soil in 45-60 years. If that happens, there will be a food crisis on the planet. This is a very serious problem, but turning around soil health is not as complex as people think it is.
The present-day atmosphere is approximately 21 percent oxygen. A billion years ago, it was probably less than 2 percent. That means it was completely inhospitable for life except for microbial life. This microbial life evolved into algae, fungi and other organisms, and they started what is called photosynthesis. This is a magical process powered by a limitless amount of solar energy. All the millions of life forms on the planet evolved out of that. Right now, we human beings do not have green leaves on our heads, and we are not doing photosynthesis, but we are a consequence of photosynthesis. Only because that phenomenon is on we are here and every other life is here. So, in all agricultural lands, there should be some photosynthesis happening 12 months of the year.
The land should not be left open to sunlight. Only then the bio-activity will pick up in a phenomenal way and you will have the needed carbon content in the soil. One way is to grow trees and smartly prune them whenever you have to, pulverise them and put organic content back into the soil. Or, in a country like India, where there is sunlight for 12 months of the year, you can grow four to five maize crops. When the maize grows to about 5-6 feet, you can chop it and put it back into the land. Along with that, if you use a mixture of legumes and pulses, the organic content in the soil will go up anywhere between 1–3 percent in one year! In one year, you can reverse desertification.
But how do we do this on productive land? Let us say I have 10 acres. Just for one year, if the government gives me a subsidy equal to my earnings from five acres of my land, I would not grow any crop in it, and just put organic content back into the soil and create humus. Next year, the government can pay a subsidy for the other five acres. Ten acres will be fully nourished! Up to 3 percent organic content can be achieved in one year if you do it very proactively. Otherwise, this can be achieved very effortlessly in a matter of three to four years.
The solution is not rocket science; it is just a question of application. Are we willing to do it in time, so that we minimise the suffering for every creature on this planet? That is the question. Right now, the Conscious Planet – Save Soil movement is aiming to bring about a global policy that there must be a minimum of 3–6 percent organic content in agricultural land. Every country can do it in their own way depending on the latitudinal position, traditions of agriculture and economic conditions. I want all of you to make this a big movement in the world. This is not about me, this is not about you. This is a generational responsibility that we must fulfil.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2017. Isha.sadhguru.org
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