Soil Erosion May Threaten Global Food Security
Global soil erosion has reached levels that will endanger humanity’s ability to feed itself if nothing is done to lower it, a study warns.
The review, published in Science in May, says soils are being lost faster than they are being naturally produced in many parts of the world. In addition, there is increased pressure on farmland from non-food uses, such as crops being grown for biofuels, and there may be future shortages of rock phosphate, which is used to make fertiliser, it says.
“The increases in food production in the developed regions of the world are plateauing,” says Ronald Amundson, a soil scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States, and one author of the study. “There are opportunities to increase food production in underdeveloped nations, but this will require expenditures for fertilisers to bring their yields up to what the regions can potentially produce.”