Japan is interested in methods of combating soil degradation

Posted on: 13 March 2019

Journalist of the well-known Japanese newspaper “The Asahi Shimbun”, Koji Nishimura, along with the representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Ukraine visited the Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry Research named after O.N.Sokolovsky, and examined the soils of the Kharkiv Oblast.

The purpose of the Asahi Shimbun journalist visit is to write an article about the problems of Ukraine’s soil degradation in the global context. Soil conservation is an important issue for Japan, whose food security is heavily dependent on imports. In general, Japan uses only 15% of the land for agriculture purposes.

During the visit, it was possible to see the black soil (chernozem) of the Kharkiv oblast, which is widespread in the Forest-Steppe zone of Ukraine. The soils characterized by the high humus content, sufficient moisture, stickiness and profile of the fertile layer which is about 100 cm.

However, representatives of the Institute indicating that soils in this region are affected by water and wind erosions.

According to the Institute data, 17 types of soil degradation cover 12 million hectares of arable lands in Ukraine and cause losses of UAH 35 billion annually. However, in particular Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts suffers from the new challenge, chemical and physical soil damage through hostilities.

Addressing the problem of soil degradation is one of the objectives of the FAO project “Integrated Natural Resources Management in Degraded Landscapes in the Forest-Steppe and Steppe Zones of Ukraine”, implemented with the financial support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), including through the establishment of the united national platform that will combine the efforts of all leading Ukrainian and international experts in the field of soil science.