Global Soil Partnership

Welcome to the Global Soil Doctors Programme

A farmer-to-farmer training platform 

This webpage is designed as a source of soil information and knowledge on the different components and aspects of the Global Soil Doctors Programme - a farmer-to-farmer training platform, and the importance of soil as a vital resource for farmers, policy makers, development planners, agricultural extension workers, NGOs, private sectors and any other practitioners/interested stakeholder. 

What is the programme about?

The programme is a farmer-to-farmer training initiative to be implemented at the global level on a volunteer basis. Email to [email protected] to know more.

Who are Soil Doctors?

Who are Soil Doctors?

Soil Doctors are champion farmers who assist and train farmers in their community.

The Global Soil Doctors Programme provides soil doctors with training, educational material and soil testing kits to build capacity on the principles of soil science and promote the practice of sustainable soil management.

They become the focal points to associations involved in promoting the global programme and work closely with government agencies, research centers, soil science societies, universities, NGOs, and more.   

How to implement the Global Soil Doctors Programme?

How to implement the Global Soil Doctors Programme?

Interested farmers in the community will receive general training to introduce the Global Soils Doctors Programme and promote sustainable soil management. Through a selection process, the top 10 farmers selected receive a higher-level training regarding problem-solving and reporting feedback.

The programme promoters are provided with a toolbox consisting of an implementation manual providing guidelines on how to implement the programme, a soil testing methods manual, which contains easy methods to measure soil properties in the field, and other educational materials. 

Soil doctors chosen by trainers receive technical and practical trainings based on the farmers' needs and local priorities. In the soil doctor's selection criteria, trainers look for a farmer willing to help the community and share knowledge with other farmers, through host gatherings for example, to demonstrate how to manage soil sustainably. 

Download the available resources:

Implementation manual | Soil testing methods | Educational materials

What are the benefits of being a Soil Doctor?

What are the benefits of being a Soil Doctor?

The Soil Doctor is a champion farmer educating other farmers in the community to manage their land and successfully improve their livelihood. The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) provides facilitation for Soil Doctors to exchange knowledge and experience with other countries. 

Soil Doctors help the community by receiving:  

  • Training on sustainable soil management   
  • Free inputs for demonstration plots  
  • Local recognition  
  • Free soil testing kits  
  • Free training at need

How does it work?

How does it work?

The programme is on a voluntary basis, also allowing countries and/or promoters to adopt it partially based on their needs.  

  • Step 1: Each country chooses activities based on their needs.   
  • Step 2: Ask the Global Soil Partnership (GSP Secretariat) or regional secretariats for implementation support at the country level.  

All countries that do or do not have a similar programme set in place can join the Global Soil Doctors Programme.  

How do local farmers benefit from the Global Soil Doctors Programme?

How do local farmers benefit from the Global Soil Doctors Programme?

  • Local farmers can rely on the assistance of Soil Doctors for improving their soil management practices, ultimately leading to an increase in agricultural productivity.   
  • They will receive training(s) to increase their knowledge on the practice of sustainable soil management.   
  • Through the Soil Doctors, farmers can communicate with the national government and the promoters of the programme at the country level.  

How do countries that ALREADY HAVE a similar initiative implement the Global Soil Doctors Programme?

How do countries that ALREADY HAVE a similar initiative implement the Global Soil Doctors Programme?

The flexible structure of the programme allows implementation in any country that either does or does not have similar procedure currently in place. Countries with preexisting initiatives similar to the Soil Doctors programme should follow these steps.  

  • Identify and analyze the existing programme/ initiative   
  • Identify the aspects of the Soil Doctors Global programme that would be integrated into existing programmes and initiatives  

For further details, read here.  

Who to contact and how to get involved?

Who to contact and how to get involved?

FAO Global Soil Partnership will assist you in receiving necessary information about the Global Soil Doctors Programme.  

 

The Global Soil Doctors programme is to be implemented at the national and local levels through a third party, called 'promoter', which is responsible for the trainings and the dissemination of the Soil Testing Kits at the local level. The programme can also be implemented within the framework of another programme or project that is already working with farmers, and wishes to further focus on soils. Generally, promoters can be part of a government institution or NGOs and have a direct link with local farmers.

If you are interested in becoming a promoter, we invite you to read the Soil Doctors implementation manual, where more detailed information on joining the programme and implementing it at the local level can be found, and to get in touch with the GSP Secretariat team at [email protected]


Upcoming events

Educational material

What is the Global Soil Doctors programme?

The Global Soil Doctors programme is a farmer-to-farmer training initiative to be implemented at the global level on a volunteer basis.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Kazakh -  High res 

How to become a Soil Doctor?

Soil Doctors are trained champion farmers who assist and train farmers in their community.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Kazakh -  High res 

Why are your crops not growing well?

Healthy soils are crucial for ensuring the continued growth of crops.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Kazakh -  High res 

What is soil?

Soils are complex mixtures of minerals, water, air, organic matter, and countless organisms that together support life on Earth.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Chichewa; Chewa; Nyanja -  High res | Kazakh - High res | Tumbuka - High res (soon available)

How to take a soil sample

This poster explain the process of taking soil samples for analysis. 

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Kazakh -  High res 

How to best manage your soil

This poster explains how farmers can best manage their soils.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Chichewa; Chewa; Nyanja -  High res | Kazakh - High res | Tumbuka - High res 

What are the physical soil properties?

Physical, biological and chemical soil properties are interconnected and interact with each other, allowing soils to function.

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Kazakh - High res 

What are the biological and chemical soil properties?

Physical, biological and chemical soil properties are interconnected and interact with each other, allowing soils to function.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Kazakh - High res 

What is soil compaction?

This poster explains what soil compaction is.

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Kazakh - High res 

How to prevent and remediate soil compaction?

This poster explains how to prevent and remediate soil compaction.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

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Kazakh - High res

What is soil erosion?

This poster explains what soil erosion is.

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Kazakh - High res

How to best minimize soil erosion by water?

This poster explains how to minimize soil erosion by water.

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Kazakh - High res

How to minimize soil erosion by wind?

This poster explains how to minimize soil erosion by wind.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

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Italian - High res 

What is soil organic matter?

This poster explains what soil organic matter is.

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Kazakh - High res 

How to enhance soil organic matter content?

This poster explains how to enhance soil organic matter content.

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Kazakh - High res 

What are soil nutrients?

This poster explains what soil nutrients are.

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Italian - High res

How to manage soil nutrients?

This poster explains how to manage soil nutrients.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Chichewa; Chewa; Nyanja -  High res (soon available) | Tumbuka - High res

What is soil pH?

This poster explains what soil pH is.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Chichewa; Chewa; Nyanja -  High res (soon available) | Kazakh - High res | Tumbuka - High res

What is soil acidification?

This poster explains what soil acidification is.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Italian - High res 

How to minimize soil acidification?

This poster explains how to  minimize soil acidification.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

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Italian - High res 

What are saline and sodic soils?

This poster explains what saline and sodic soils are.

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Official languages: French | Spanish (soon available) | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Kazakh - High res

What is soil pollution?

Soil is a finite resource, meaning its loss and degradation is not recoverable within a human lifespan. As a core component of land resources, agricultural development and ecological sustainability, it is the basis for food,feed, fuel and fibre production and for many critical ecosystem services. It is therefore a highly valuable natural resource, yet it is often overlooked...

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

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Italian - High res

How to prevent soil pollution on agricultural fields?

This poster explains how to prevent soil pollution on agricultural fields.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

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Italian - High res 

What is soil biodiversity?

This poster explains what soil biodiversity is.

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

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Italian - High res

How to enhance soil biodiversity?

This poster explains how to enhance soil biodiversity. 

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Official languages: French | Spanish | Chinese | Russian | Arabic

Other languages

Italian - High res





Thank you to our resource partners

Please visit the Healthy Soil Facility webpage here to learn about the resource partners of the Global Soil Partnership and the Global Soil Doctors Programme