Amazonian Dark Earths: Wim Sombroek's Vision

pp 465-472

City to Soil: Returning Organics to Agriculture – A Circle of Sustainability

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The current politically based model of economics seldom recognises all theelements of an economy and indeed has ignored to the peril and destructionof many communities that the basis of any economy is its soil. Any communityis literally built from the ground up. It is the quality of the soils of all nationswhich determine their viability, both in economic and social terms. Communityis built on agriculture. It always has been. Agriculture, in turn, is responsiblefor up to 70% of the industrial inputs of some economies (Chino 2001). If you have no soil you have no industry, if you have no soil, you have no community.

The basis of the relationship between a community and its soil — a community and its farmers, will be the relationship which determines the future stability and survival of humanity. The simple act of returning organic waste to agricultural soil has long been recognised as a logical and fundamental practice in many settled communities around the world. Indeed it is this very practice which contributed to the development of all the successful agricultural models of human history (Diamond 1999).