The Fight to Improve Soil on in This Beautiful Continent Continues

Via Flickr
Adé Hennis
May 5, 2023

Over 12,000 years ago, various regions in Africa developed a red-colored soil, due to mineral dust compounding on top of regular soil for years. This red soil only became more problematic for Africans as the years went by.

The dust that gets compacted with the soil makes it difficult to grow plants because they can’t absorb nutrients and water efficiently. Along with droughts, deforestation, and agricultural mismanagement, one natural phenomenon has changed the face of the continent.

Desertification is when fertile land turns into desert. The Sahara Desert is one African desert that continues to expand as more soil becomes infertile.

In West Africa, locals are using charcoal and mixing it with soil to increase fertility and yield crops. Charcoal can be produced by burning crop residues, manure, and other organic materials and used to improve soil structure and nutrient content. Since it is proving to be effective for combatting red soil, Black people around the world can follow in Africa’s footsteps.

People across Africa are determined to try to improve their soil without destroying the history it holds, and their ingenuity can help us improve the soil of our cities and overplanted rural areas. Is there a patch of soil in your community that could use this technique?

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