World Soil Day (WSD), 5th December is the United Nations Observance that celebrates healthy soils for a food-secure future. This years’ campaign “Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity” urges us to focus our attention on the workers belowground – from tiny bacteria to agile millipedes and slimy earthworms – all of which contribute to processes that are indispensable to life on Earth.

The FAO SLM-GEF Project has been promoting various relevant climate smart agriculture (CSA) techniques mainly using Farmer Field School (FFS) model which also includes various techniques on sustainable soil management such as crop diversification, inclusion of leguminous crops in the cropping system, mulching, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, use of organic fertilizers, composting, vermiculture etc. Promotion of those CSA practices have genuinely contributed to improving soil structure and enriching soil fertility.

The project commemorated a World Soil Day between 3rd Dec and 5th Dec 2020 in collaboration with respective offices of Department of Agriculture at District/Township level and Service Providers: Cesvi, AVSI and COLDA in three project pilot townships (i.e. Labutta, Nyaung-U and Mindat) under three agro-ecological zones. Farmers in FFS villages were trained on the importance of soil management and practiced the soil sample collection and testing by using soil test kit. Moreover, soil samples were collected from FFS demonstration plots and dispatched for laboratory analysis. Soil samples are collected and tested twice from the same FFS demonstration fields to compare the soil status related to the major nutrients, pH and organic matters content before and after the project interventions.

A video was produced on field activities on commemorating World Soil Day and was posted on social media, included in various web sites and circulated widely to all concerned.  The project also translated some knowledge products on sustainable soil management into Myanmar language including a video on “Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity” and information related to World Soil Day produced by FAO and disseminated through MRTV and social media.  It is expected that the training provided to the farmers and awareness created on the occasion of World Soil Day will certainly help enriching the knowledge of the farmers on sustainable soil management to keep the soil alive and protect soil biodiversity.

Video links

SLM-GEF Activities on World Soil Day: http://www.slmmyanmar.info/news/slm-gef-world-soil-day/

Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity: http://www.slmmyanmar.info/keep-soil-alive-protect-soil-biodiversity/

Soil testing demonstration by using soil test kit in Kan Chaung village, Labutta

Figure 1 Soil testing demonstration by using soil test kit in Kan Chaung village, Labutta.

Soil management training for the FFS farmers in Shwe Dwin village, Nyaung U

Figure 2 Soil management training for the FFS farmers in Shwe Dwin village, Nyaung U.