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The present study evaluates the quality of the soil resource base of Africa and also the risks to sustainable agriculture and soil productivity on a continent-wide basis.
Fifty five percent of the land in Africa is unsuitable for any kind of agriculture except nomadic grazing.
These are largely the deserts, which includes salt flats, dune and rock lands, and the steep to very steep lands. There are compelling reasons for African nations to return to fundamentals in terms of research and developmental initiatives.
Those countries with subsistence agriculture have had minimal inputs in acquiring and managing information about their resource conditions. The green revolution succeeded in Asia in those countries where there was a serious effort to match technology with resource conditions and where advances in development and use of high yielding cultivars was accompanied by appropriate soil, water, and nutrient management.
Sluggish or zero growth is likely because of the cumulative effect of many factors but with strong bearings on soil productivity. Agriculture production is not merely the managing of the biophysical resources; it is also strongly controlled by the socioeconomic milieu.
The opening of national markets to world trade has induced new stresses in the on-farm socioeconomic situation. The resource poor farmers of Africa have few options today to enhance their agricultural productivity.
Write about red soil in africa traditional low-input agriculture practiced by many of the farmers in the absence of replenishment of mineral nutrients, is slowly reducing many of the soils to almost inert systems Stoorvogel and Smaling, As many of the soils also have low resilience, future corrective measures may be exorbitantly expensive.
The study of Oldeman et al. This empirical assessment based on the judgment of many persons and often made in the absence of supporting data, points to the magnitude of the problem. With reliable resource inventories and monitoring of the resource base, better assessments and projections can be made.
Such knowledge is as important as helping national planners and farmers to enhance their agricultural productivity.
The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the quality of the soil resource base of Africa and the risks to sustainable agriculture and soil productivity on a continent-wide basis. Soil Quality Quality is the essential character, distinguishing feature or property of an object.
It identifies that feature which makes the thing useful or perform a task in a beneficial way. Most persons refer to soil quality in a similar way and look for attributes that enable the soil to perform its functions in an acceptable manner.
Larson and Pierce view soil quality as the capacity of a soil to function within its ecosystem boundaries and interact positively with the environment external to that ecosystem.
They link soil quality to the four sustainability objectives of Lourance -- agronomic, ecological, micro- and macro-economic sustainability.
A more formal definition, of Larson and Pierce and many others is, " the capacity of the soil, as an integral part of the ecosystem to perform the functions of: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS is utilizing an "Ecosystems Based Approach" for its technology development and transfer program with soil quality being one of the basic criteria for the many decisions that have to be made with respect to sustainable land management.
From the point of land use and land management decision making, soil quality provides a quantitative basis for evaluating different land use options and impacts of technology; furnishes parameters for quantifying ecosystem interactions; evaluates status and impacts of soil conditions over given periods of time; provides a basis for targeting conservation programs; enables environmental assessment, or specific assessments related to biodiversity, chemical loads, bio-contaminants, etc.
As the present study is of a continent, we are focusing on the last item which deals with identifying tension zones for sustainability.
Again, due to the nature of the study, it is at best approached in an empirical manner, recognizing that assessment of soil quality is a function of time and space. Soil properties change with time and changes are accelerated through management or mismanagement. Spatial microvariability is of great importance in soil assessments and one that is not easily evaluated, particularly at small scales.
Defining the need Countries want many things from their soil and water resource base. The basic elements include food and fiber of high quality and at low price, a healthy environment, a high standard of living, and an improved quality of life.
To achieve these goals, decisions must be made about how best to match future demands of food, fiber, water, fuel, and other agricultural products with the needs for a healthier environment. These decisions must consider the social, economic, and political structure of the country as well as the conditions of the natural resources.
They must be based on accurate and adequate information, appropriate technology, and a cost-effective delivery system. Pragmatic considerations, particularly in the context of African countries, clearly suggest that attention to the environment will only occur when agriculture is economically viable, with levels of input acceptable to the society, and stable enough to make long term commitments.
Finally, there is the question of technology and its utilization by the resource poor farmers of Africa.Jul 23, · Best Answer: Although the soil is not red all over African continent, the red soil is the dominent soil type in most of Tropical and Sub-Tropical Africa. I commend you on your observation.
The typical African red soil is usually a thick laterite or regolith capping that is dominently argillaceous and forms Status: Resolved. Jun 16, · the red soil of Africa Two years ago I stepped onto African soil for the first time and since that moment my life has been turned, flipped, broken, crushed, thrown, and soaked in Glory.
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South Africa - Soils: South Africa contains three major soil regions. East of approximately longitude 25° E, soils have formed under wet summer and dry winter conditions; the more-important soil types there are laterite (red, leached, iron-bearing soil), unleached subtropical soils, and gleylike (i.e., bluish gray, sticky, and compact) podzolic soils (highly leached soils .
Red Soil proudly supports African culture and fashion while pulling from each Country's unique and diverse fabrics. Giving back is Red Soil’s purpose and proceeds from each purchase help fund education and medical expenses in Southern Africa.