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Feeding the Earth: Understanding Soil Health


Soil health is fundamental to human existence.

Soil is the basis for food production. Food does not exist without soil and life does not exist without food. Soil, therefore, is essential for human existence and, as such, for us to achieve healthy food production, we need to take care of our soils and ensure good soil health.

It is within this context that the ‘OCP Cultivating Conversations Feeding the Earth: Understanding Soil Health’ event was held. This event, the second in the Cultivating Conversations series for the current year, discussed the vital relationship between soil health and the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, SDG 1 – no poverty, SDG 2 – zero hunger and SDG 15 – life on land.

The event heard from a distinguished panel of experts which included, Professor Rattan Lal World Food Prize winner and Professor of Soil Science at University of Ohio State, Dr. Tilahun Amede, Head of Climate, Resilience and Soil health programme at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Professor Leonardus Vergütz, Chair of Soil Science, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ms. Diane Holdorf, Managing Director, Food and Nature, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Vera Boerger Senior Land and Water Officer at FAO.

The panellists spoke on several key issues, including soil, as a basis for food security, private sector initiatives on ensuring soil health, how research and innovation can help to care for soil to ensure healthy food, people, nature and climate. Speakers also noted that soil health can enhance African food security and the resilience of African farmers. Additionally, the discussion covered Global Soil partnerships and World Soil Day held annually on December 5th.

The event saw an engaged audience and shared valuable information on the importance of healthy soils in sustainable land management.

The OCP Cultivating Conversations series seeks to engage leaders on how to advance global goals. In 2021, the Series held several successful events on ‘Food Systems’ and ‘African Development’. In 2022, the series will continue to address a number of important issues related to food and agriculture.


Bibi Ally

Based in New York City, Bibi is an accomplished, multitalented professional with 20+ years of experience in international affairs, multilateralism and negotiations. She has a demonstrated history as a successful negotiator and consensus builder having led strategic engagement with the United Nations and various international organizations in New York, Geneva and Rome. Bibi previously spent 13 years in a high level role successfully representing a nation and region at the United Nations. Bibi has acted as a lead advocate for regional and national positions and had the role as regional coordinator.

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