It is a major challenge to feed the global increasing population with sustainable management in agriculture. It is not possible to establish peaceful environment without eliminating hunger and poverty, future food will be unavailable unless without tackling climate change scenario. Agriculture and food systems are the relative cause of increasing temperature but are the fundamental part of a strategy to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, ecosystem and improving quality of arable land.
Increasing concentration of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere as a potent GHG is of major concern globally. At the start of industrial time the concentration of CO2 begins at 280 parts per million (ppm), concentration has now increased 400 ppm and are expected to escalate the 600-800 ppm at the end of this century. It is very important to control the rapid increase of CO2 level in the atmosphere to ensure the life-sustaining on the earth and need of times is to sequester CO2 emission in recalcitrant forms.
It is crucial to understand the impact of exogenous application of organic and inorganic amendments to improve the soil fertility and quality of low yielding soils. Nitrogen (N) is deficient in all Pakistani soils except some soils of Northern area where organic matter (OM) is more than 1%. The chief factors controlling the nutrient availability in soil ecosystem is “soil C” which I suggest that is the real “Gold” of soil environment.
Majority of the Pakistani farmers did not focus on the application of manure in their lands. They use animal dung as fuel due to lack of alternative resources, use crop straw and stubbles as animal feeding instead of crushing in the soil to improve soil C status. On the other hand, due to extreme weather conditions and rapid mineralization of SOM, low input of organic manure and/or straw in the agricultural fields declining soil C from Pakistani soils that not only contributes to the low yield, put farmers on the way of miserable life and boosting global climate change scenario.
To increase the soil C status for the healthy soil is as important as air for breathing otherwise reverse situation would lead this Earth to the balls of fire due to global CO2 emission. Government should provide the alternatives to the farmers as fuel source, prohibition on land conversion, encourage the farmers to application of organic amendments with the chemical fertilizers, crop rotation and/or to grow those crops have ability to fix N sequentially. Save the soil C (soil Gold) for the future to feed the hunger population.
by Muhammad Nadeem Ashraf*, Adnan Mustafa. The corresponding author is a research scholar at *Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing, China, National Engineering Laboratory for Improving Quality of Arable Land
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