In the lead up to the International Year of Soils 2015, Shamba Shape Up and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) organized on Monday 13th April, 2015 a one-hour Tweet Chat to discuss about the problems facing farmers with soil.
The discussion involved a wealth of young Kenyan farmers seeking advice for their soil related issues ranging from protecting their soil from erosion to soil testing.
By using the hashtag #TalkSoil and with the moderation and involvement of CIAT and Shamba Shape Up, contributors –including the 6 panel of experts from SoilCares, Syngenta, FAO, One Acre Fund and YPARD- replied to the 4 following questions that shaped the e-discussion:
- What are the challenges smallholder farmers are facing with their soils?
- How can farmers address these challenges to prevent the health of their soil from deteriorating further?
- How can farmers address these challenges to increase their yields and livelihoods?
- What can they – and we – learn from others?
YPARD's Contribution to #TalkSoil
With an MSc. in Sustainable soil resource management and BSc. in Management of agroecosystem and environment from the University of Nairobi, Janeth shared her views on improving soils management from a youth's perspective. Amongst the different insights tweeted, there're three in particular that could be outlined related to:
Solutions to provide benefits across the farm
Tips to prevent soil erosion
and sources of information and opportunities for further learning
Awakening People’s Curiosity about Soils
Organised with the aim of helping farmers build healthier soils, the tweet chat attracted interest world-wide and led to a lively and interactive discussion between experts and farmers. It generated nearly 1,000 tweets from 186 participants and reached more than 300,000 people!
The chat contributed mainly to mobilise much-needed interest and action in global efforts to protect soils, a finite resource on which our lives depend.
But it is small scale farmers who suffer the effects of land degradation and poor soil health the most – and, as guardians of 80% of the world’s farmland, it is they who are most in need of affordable and practical solutions to protect their soil.
Get a taste of the discussion in #TalkSoil highlights storify
View the questions posed by farmers and the answers they received in #TalkSoil farmers questions storify
Or read the full unedited #TalkSoil tweet chat
Picture credit: ©FAO/Florita Botts / FAO