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December 8, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


World Soil Day, celebrated annually on December 5th, recognizes the vital role of soil in sustainable development. In August 2023, a study by US and Australian researchers delved into the intricate connection between soil micronutrient levels and the nutritional well-being of individuals in India. This analysis sheds light on the significance of soil health for human nutrition and the existing challenges in India’s soil composition.

World Soil Day (WSD):

  • WSD commemorates the birthday of the late King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, known for his commitment to sustainable soil management.
  • The International Union of Soil Sciences recommended WSD in 2002, and it was officially designated by the UN General Assembly in 2014.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) supports WSD as a global awareness platform under the Global Soil Partnership.

Theme 2023:

  • The theme, “Soil and Water, a Source of Life,” emphasizes the interconnectedness of soil and water in sustaining life on Earth.

Study on Soil Micronutrients and Nutritional Status:

Soil Composition and Micronutrient Absorption:

  • Soil composition directly impacts essential micronutrients like zinc and iron in crops.
  • Plant absorption of these nutrients influences their content in food, crucial for human health.

Impact on Human Health:

  • Low soil zinc linked to higher rates of stunting and underweight conditions in children.
  • Soil iron availability correlates with the prevalence of anemia.
  • Regions with micronutrient-deficient soil witness higher instances of deficiencies in the population.

Solutions Suggested:

  • Application of zinc to crops on zinc-deficient soils increases yields significantly.
  • Zinc-enriched fertilizers offer a long-term intervention, requiring less short-term maintenance.

Nutrient Deficiency in India Soil:

Historical Context:

  • India’s soil historically deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • Potassium deficiency became prominent in the 1990s, and sulphur deficiency emerged in the 2000s.

Recent Analysis:

Scientists associated with AICRP-MSPE analyzed 0.2 million soil samples from 28 states.

  • Zinc Deficiency: Approximately 36.5% of India’s soil is deficient in zinc.
  • Iron Deficiency: About 12.8% of the country’s soil is deficient in iron.
  • Other Micronutrients: Boron deficiency in 23.4% of soils, copper deficiency in 4.20%, and manganese deficiency in 7.10%.


The celebration of World Soil Day serves as a poignant reminder of the critical role soil plays in sustainable development.

The study highlighting the nexus between soil micronutrients and human nutrition underscores the urgency of addressing soil health, particularly in countries like India facing widespread deficiencies.

As the analysis reveals alarming statistics on zinc, iron, and other micronutrient deficiencies in India’s soil, it calls for concerted efforts in adopting sustainable agricultural practices.

The connection between soil health and human well-being necessitates a holistic approach, integrating scientific interventions and community participation to ensure a future where soil continues to be a source of life.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss the significance of World Soil Day and the findings of the study on soil micronutrients in India. How can addressing soil health contribute to sustainable development, and what measures should be taken to improve soil nutrition in the country? (150 Words) 10M


December 8, 2023
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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