What do you feel when you touch me? When your fingers run through my softness. Do you feel dirty just because you have touched soil? When I cling to your hands, its not because I want to remind you what you are missing.

In 2015, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization wrote my biography and called it ‘Status of the World’s Soil Resources.’ This was the first ever major global assessment ever on soils and related issues.

In this Soil Biography, FAO revealed that, ‘soils are the foundation of food production and food security, supplying plants with nutrients, water, and support for their roots. Soils function as Earth’s largest water filter and storage tank.’

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." Nelson Mandela.

Why then is it that the Central African country of Chad, a country that is fifty times bigger than Rwanda has one of the highest levels of hunger in the world? In addition, almost 90 percent of this large country’s mainly rural population lives below the poverty line. This is despite the fact that 15,200 square kilometers of arable, non-forested land in Chad is underutilized.

Chad 2Photo by Hoeneisen

Listen closely to the sound of tractors, ox-driven ploughs and sweaty farmers ploughing the land. The bulls are snorting and grunting, their heavy footsteps thumping out a rhythm. The tractor splices and slices soil as it bulldozes its way through the soil. Hoes slice into this soil as people start digging just before the sun peeps out of the eastern horizon.

Long after the tractors, ploughs and hoes have gone, I am still there, nurturing the seeds that were planted in me. When am fed with water and manure, I ensure that these seeds grow into succulent crops that yield bumper harvests. Indeed, one of my key missions in life is to nurture the crops that feed people.

But in Chad, I am alone and lonely in 15,200 square kilometers of arable, non-forested land.

I am here Chad. Come back to me and you will be able to feed yourself fully.

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Last modified on Sunday, 24 October 2021 16:25
Environmental Africa

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