Tilling the soil in preparation for planting potatoes. Gashikanwa, Burundi.
Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
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The programme Afrisoils aims to support African countries in implementing sustainable soil management, leading to agricultural growth, improved food security and better adaptation to climate change.

A new programme to boost soil productivity and reduce soil degradation for greater food and nutrition security in Africa named Afrisoils was launched by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its Global Soil Partnership in June 2018.

The programme aims to increase soil productivity in 47 African countries by 30 per cent, and reduce soil degradation by 25 per cent in the next ten years.

Africa is the second driest continent, with nearly half of its surface made up of desert, and 40 per cent of it affected by desertification. About 65 per cent of the continent's farm land is affected by erosion-induced losses of topsoil and soil nutrients.

Lack of policies for soil regulation

In many African countries, no policies are in place to regulate soil, and they lack the capacity, knowledge and experience to plan and implement sustainable soil management programmes. If soils are severely damaged or lost, they are very difficult and costly to restore and rehabilitate.

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