The Hon. David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia announced $2m of funding to Soil Science Australia to support soil extension activities and training and capacity building programs at the Parliamentary Friends of Soil breakfast on 1 December in Canberra. The breakfast was held to celebrate World Soil Day which is on 5 December.
‘Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity’ is the theme of the 2021 World Soil Day and the Parliamentary Friends of Soil gathered in Canberra this week to acknowledge the critical foundation soil resources play in Australia’s environmental and economic future. The Parliamentary Friends of Soil group is co-chaired by the Hon Michael McCormack MP and the Hon Linda Burney MP.
“We’re working to make Australian agriculture more resilient and we are committed to helping farmers improve the health and quality of soil,” said the Hon. David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia.
The funding is a part of the National Soil Strategy developed by the Australian Government, state and territory governments, the National Soils Advocate and the soil community and was released in May 2021. It details how Australia will value, manage and improve its soil for the next 20 years.
World Soil Day marks the release of Soil Science Australia’s Australian Soil Snapshot: 2021. Australian Soils are estimated to be worth $1 trillion per year. The Snapshot highlights the critical challenges that are facing Australian soils, like urban encroachment onto valuable agricultural land, acidification, salinisation, erosion and contamination and the technical expertise that is required for land management to address these challenges. The new programs to be developed by Soil Science Australia with the new funding will increase soil science knowledge, bring together farmers and land managers to share their knowledge and ensure that the best available research conducted by Australian soil scientists are communicated to those working on the ground.
“This is an exciting time for soil scientists, land managers and people who work with soils. World Soil Day brings together those who research and teach soil science and land management with the communicators and extension officers and those working on the ground, highlighting the importance of soils in our lives” said Assoc Professor Vanessa Wong CPSS, Federal President, Soil Science Australia.
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