World Soil Day celebrated in Ethiopia
World Soil Day (WSD) was celebrated in Ethiopia on 5 December in the presence of key stakeholders including representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Ethiopian Society of Soil Science, AgroProFocus and the media, among others. This year's WSD theme was “Soils a solid ground for life”.
Thanking partners for their support, Mr. Mohamed Salih, Deputy Representative of FAO in Ethiopia said, “I believe that thanks to this International Year of Soils, many Ethiopians and key stakeholders are well aware of the importance of sustainable soil management as the basis for food systems for present and future generations.”
Underlining the importance of keeping the momentum generated by the IYS going , Mr. Mohamed added, “It is important that the understanding of the centrality of soil for food security and nutrition is kept beyond 2015. Continuity of activities on sustainable soil management need to continue.”
The World Soil Day event follows the Ethiopia Society of Soils Science (ESSS) Conference under the theme of “International Year of Soils: Ethiopia Experience.” Speaking at the event, ESSS Director Dr. Negash Demisse said, “We have to move forward to develop a national soil conservation policy, comprehensive conservation measures and speedy response programmes. Let us therefore join hands to invest in our soils, so that we can harvest healthy and sustained food supply.”
The IYS has generated various activities throughout the year in Ethiopia, including media awareness on healthy soils, regional soil campaigns, Ethiopia Soil Week, and the World Soil Day.
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Ertebo, a soil scientist from the Ministry of Agricutre and Natural Resources, said, “the Ministry will take this momentum forward and will soon start training over 1500 people on integrated soil fertility management in universities and colleges.”
Most stakeholders are keen to keep up the momentum generated by the year including advocating for the inclusion of soils in the Ethiopian School Curriculum.