World Soil Day – “Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity.”

World Soil Day is observed yearly on 5th December to draw our attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources for future food security. 5th December for World Soil Day (WSD) was chosen because it is the official birthdate of H.M. King Bhuminol Adulyadej (the king of Thailand, who officially sanctioned the event). Soil is the home of more than one quarter of our earth’s biodiversity. But we only know of just a percentage of them.

There are more living things in a single teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on Earth. Organisms in soil are responsible for many critical ecosystem processes on which humans depend;

  1. Supporting plant growth
  2. Storing carbon and being a vast reservoir for pharmaceuticals and many more.

Unfortunately, soil biodiversity is under threat. In the past 150 years, half of the topsoil on earth has been lost, with a staggering 26.4 billion tons of soil lost each year (a rate 10 times faster than soil is being replenished. Soil erosion is also one of the significant yet largely overlooked contributor to carbon emissions.

This year’s theme for World Soil Day is “Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity.”

In support of this year’s theme, Elsevier presents a curated, open access collection of over 60 journal articles to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy soil ecosystems.

World Soil Day and Farmers’ Day in Ghana

Farmers’ day is observed annually in various countries. While many countries may have the same date for farmers’ day, others may have different dates. Farmers’ day is to celebrate contributions of farmers and agriculturers. We can’t possibly say anything meaningful about farming and farmers without mentioning soil. This is because, majority of the farmers we have depend on soil. In Ghana, farmers’ day is normally observed yearly on the first Friday of December. This date was perhaps chosen so that we remember the soil too (World Soil Day which is on the 5th of December). This year, Ghanaians will celebrate farmers’ day on the Monday after the first Friday of December. This is because Ghanaians will be having elections on 7th December, 2020. In order to make the elections successful and smooth, the president of Ghana, His excellency Nana Addo had to reschedule farmers’ day so that we have our farmers’ day holiday on Monday instead of the first Friday of December.

In as much as we celebrate and remember the soil this day, we need to appreciate farmers too for their unimaginable roles they play in using the soil fruitfully for us to get something to eat.

This year, a 55-year-old Solomon Kusi was pronounced the best farmer in 2020. Mr. Solomon Kusi has been into farming since 2010. He produces crops and livestock enterprises ranging from tubers, vegetables, cereals, plantation crops, grasscutter, pigs, rabbits, timber species and many more.

Every body can farm. In fact, we are all called to be farmers. Irrespective of the work you do, you can still do some farming. We eat every day. Who should do farming for us to eat? I was glad when I heard a catholic priest was awarded best farmer in one of the districts of Eastern region.

Today is world Soil Day. One of the best things we can ever do today is to psych our minds and add farming to our plans in life.

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