Without healthy soils, safe and nutritious food cannot be grown.
"However, land degradation is a global problem and approximately one-third of the world's soils are degraded."
For this reason, just as before treating the patient, the doctor must first visit him, in the same way to guarantee healthy soils for sustainable food production, it is first necessary to know his health conditions.
This is the objective of the FAO Soil Doctors programme, already implemented in 9 countries, which sees the participation of 3,475 farmers.
Implemented by FAO under the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the Soil Doctors program is a space for learning, interaction and dialogue between different actors interested in the correct use and conservation of soils.
In addition to sharing diagnostic tools for soil health and implementing practices that avoid soil degradation, this initiative improves agricultural production and, consequently, increases nutritious products and farmers' incomes.
Farmers enrolled and trained in the program become "certified" as soil doctors and can introduce these practices to others, helping their communities conserve this vital resource.
From Bangladesh to Mexico, already 403 have already achieved certification.
Among them, Moussa Ouedraogo, who runs a vegetable farm with three workers in Ouahigouya, a city in northeastern Burkina Faso, has learned to protect soil fertility that alternating crops and planting legumes is the solution.