NSP - Conservation of soil biodiversity

About 99% of the world's food supply comes ultimately from land-based production with about 50-70% of the land devoted to agriculture. As the population is estimated to reach 9-10.5 billion by 2050 we cannot ignore the health of the 'soil organism' if we want to be able to provide food and feed for increasing consumption and sustain our soil resources. Modern agricultural methods such as plowing, fertilizer application and pesticides have often replaced biological soil functions and increased the reliance on external inputs to maintain productivity, which in the long run is unsustainable (Altieri, 1995).