Soil & fertilisation

Technical Information

Soil & fertilisation

Organic agriculture is considered a key element in keeping agricultural soils healthy, fertile and productive. Soils under organic management often have better soil structure, a higher organic matter content, higher biological activity, and a higher water holding capacity.
All this accounts for the high priority we place on conserving and restoring soil fertility.

Naturland supports its international members in matters of compost and vermicompost management, as well as managing intercropping and agroforestry systems.

The use of compost can play a vital role in maintening and improving soil fertility. Composting is an ancient method of organic fertilisation used in agriculture and gardening. In south-east Asia, for example, soil fertility has been maintained in this way for around six thousand years. Worm compost (also known as vermicompost, from “vermis”, the Latin for “worm”) is an extremely high-grade and nutrient-rich fertiliser. Black substrate is what remains of organic matter after being broken down by microorganisms, especially worms. Many tea and coffee growers keep small herds of cattle for extra income and use the dung produced as feed substrate for worm composting. The valuable, nutrient-rich worm compost is then used as a fertiliser on their tea and coffee plantations, enabling them to achieve sustained increases in harvest yields – just one example of how recycling is possible in a very confined space.

World Soil Day

As of 2014, the 5th December each year is World Soil Day. Following the recognition of the World Soil Day, the United Nations Assembly declared 2015 as the International Year of Soil. For us, these are opportunities to spread the word about healthy soil and its connection to organic farming. Below you can find the latest content regarding the Naturland event on World Soil Day and an edition of Naturland News International focusing on soil – a finite resource matching the UN declaration of the International Year of Soils.

Naturland usually celebrates World Soil Day at the beginning of December. We work with Naturland members from all over the world to offer seminars to all interested parties on the topic of healthy soil. A summary of the latest Naturland event on World Soil Day can be found below.

In 2015, Naturland News International celebrated the importance of soils with a whole magazine including technical topics on soil conservation as a means of protecting the climate, prevention and compensation for soil losses, and the Soil Atlas.

The whole document is available below.

Manduvira - Organic cane sugar from Paraguay

The Manduvira cooperative supports smallholder farmers in the production of organic cane sugar. This also includes sustainable soil management.

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