News Date: June 28 2016
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) — A senior official of the Inter- American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) says the use of organic matter to remediate degraded soils is part of plans by the international body to reverse the soil degradation trends in the Caribbean.
IICA has just concluded a course here for delegates from five Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries, including Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname and Guyana to help improve the quality of soils in the region.
The course here allowed the 40 participants from the private and public sectors to identify sustainable practices and technologies for soil management, agricultural productivity and climate change and learned how to implement remediation and reclamation processes in degraded land.
“The soil is the sustainer of life on this planet and it is our responsibility to sustainably manage the land and the soil. We owe it to our children and those behind us to ensure that land is in a better state than we found it.
“The use of organic matter to remediate degraded soils is part of our toolbox to reverse the soil degradation trends”, said the IICA representative in Haiti, Abimbola Abiola.
IICA said that soil degradation is a phenomenon that reduces the soil’s capability to provide sustainable environmental services.
“Human activities and impact of the climate affects its properties such as depth, organic matter content, pH, salinity and fertility. It also suffers alterations when subjected to exploitation, for instance, lands utilised for agriculture or mining with improper management practices.
“The use of unsustainable agricultural practices can cause erosion, sedimentation in rivers, exhaustion and degradation of water sources, loss of native vegetative cover and biodiversity, all of which represent higher vulnerability to climate change and a reduced capacity to produce agricultural commodities and services. This context explains the high importance of developing capacities on this matter,” IICA said.