Soil health and quality are pre-requisites for robust crop production and a sustainable future for farming. Soil is a priceless, non-renewable resource, that supports countless ecosystem and provide us different ecosystem services. It can take up to 1000 years to create one centimeter of fertile soil, but only few years to lose it. Nowadays a third of all agricultural soils are degraded, threatening global food supplies and increasing carbon emissions.
It also reduces the ability of soil to retain carbon, leading to higher carbon emission back to the atmosphere.
With global warming being one of the biggest environmental problems of our time, and given the importance of soil’s carbon absorption and storage functions, the avoidance and reduction of land degradation is now a top priority.
Managing soil sustainability is cheaper than rehabilitating or restoring soil functions, and many practices can be changed to prevent, and in some cases reverse, soil degradation. However, soils are complex, living ecosystems in constant evolution, and for this reason, there is no consistent framework that could define “soil health”.
We believe data are pivotal to strengthen our collective understanding of soil health, and that the limited availability of comparable soil data is a common bottleneck to the existing initiatives supporting regenerative agriculture and carbon farming.
That is why, Varda is now developing a comprehensive Soil Knowledge Platform composed of different tools to bridge the existing data gaps and maintain them updated through the support of private and public sponsors.
The goal is to make soil knowledge information more accessible and more comprehensive for everyone’s benefit.