Human activities over thousands of years have left a legacy of polluted soils across the world. These activities include, amongst others, improper disposal of hazardous and urban waste, industrial processes, mining, military actions and armed conflicts, and unsustainable agricultural practices.
In sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture, mining, transport and energy generation are sources of soil pollution, with pesticide use by farmers considered the most significant contributor of soil contaminants. The application of fertiliser to enhance crop production has also been shown to be a source of soil pollution in the region.
Manure as a by-product of livestock production can result in soil pollution when the manure is disposed of in landfill areas or stockpiled on other bare soil surfaces. A study conducted at the Animal and Livestock Science experimental farm of the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Nigeria, evaluated the levels of trace element accumulation in soil resulting from manure stockpiles of different types of animals.
The results indicated that soil pollution was most significant where poultry manure was disposed, followed by that of pigs and cattle.
CONSTRAINTS TO A FULL UNDERSTANDING
In parallel with sub-Saharan Africa’s rapid population growth, the estimated number of people living on less than US$1,90/day (about R30/ day) almost doubled between 1990 and 2015. With such poverty, people tend to produce their own food through subsistence or small-scale farming or forage wild vegetables, herbs and fruit.
In South Africa, vegetable gardens at schools took off as an initiative to relieve food insecurity and nutrient deficiencies amongst children. Unfortunately, analysis of soil samples in gardens close to gold-mine tailings indicated high concentrations of arsenic, lead and mercury.
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A Look at Alternative Food Sources
In a new report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations looks at alternative food options that could be used to feed the world’s growing population. However, as the report shows, not all of these options are feasible yet, and steps for safety assessment regarding human consumption might be required.
'Agriculture Is a Journey, Not a Race'
Achmad Brinkhuis was named the Agricultural Writers SA's New Entrant for Farming in 2021. He spoke to Lindi Botha about his egg and vegetable operation, and the challenges and opportunities facing his business.
Read this before growing tomatoes
Tomato production can be highly profitable, but you need to choose your tomato type and cultivar with care, says Bill Kerr.
Moving South Africa's apple industry forward
Cape Sweet Nursery is revolutionising the production of apple plant material on dwarfing rootstocks. Farmer Retief du Toit and ZZ2 production manager Hendrik Pohl spoke to Glenneis Kriel about their work.
Tips for small-scale poultry producers
Gladys 'Nana' Towbola of Peezel Farms not only farms broilers and layers, but is passionate about uplifting other small-scale growers through regular workshops. She spoke to Susan Marais about what it takes to start and run a small poultry farm.
Hertzogville Show 2022
The Hertzogville Show was held on 11 and 12 March. There were six cattle breeds and 145 cattle on show, and champions were crowned in each category.
Give buchu a go!
Approximately 80% of buchu essential oils are used in the food and flavour industry to enhance fruit flavours.
Fighter ace, aviation pioneer, bold leader: the remarkable career of Quintin Brand
Quintin Brand had extraordinary flying skills, and put them to full use as a fighter ace and a record-breaking London-to-Cape Town pilot. He was also a superb strategist during the Battle of Britain.
An innovative new harvesting tool
Enter the PickLogger, a new harvesting tool developed by Agri Technovation, that allows for more accurate yield management.
Energy storage can enhance SA agriculture
Energy-related challenges pose a significant obstacle to the agriculture sector's continued growth in South Africa, says Abe Cambridge, founder, and CEO of The Sun Exchange, which specializes in solar-energy projects.
Shell Is Looking Forward
The fossil-fuel companies expect to not just survive climate change but profit from it.
Nigeria's Missing Mobile Banking App
Every Month, Ifeyinwa Abel, the secretary of a Pentecostal church in Lagos, spends as much as a quarter of her salary sending money to pay for diabetes drugs to her mother 430 miles away in Abia Ohafia, a small agricultural village.
Engineering student kills self in Noida hotel after failing to get job
In a tragic incident, a 21-year-old woman final year student at a private institute was found hanging from a ceiling fan inside a hotel room in Sector 56 of Noida with a suicide note lying near the body, police said on Thursday.
81 infra projects make it to Gati Shakti list
Road projects top the pecking order, states to upload data by March-end
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE U.P.-FICATION OF KARNATAKA
A state that till yesterday prided itself for being India’s most global corner is poised on the edge of an eruption of tribalism
Retd Armyman gets bahu killed for ‘honour', takes brigade mate's help
On February 20, the body of a young woman, 28, was found stuck in the bushes along a highway in Haryana’s Yamunanagar.
CASTE IN STONE
Identity politics and polarisation remain the key tool for most political parties to mobilise voters
UP polls: Campaigning ends for 2nd phase; voting on Mon
AS MANY AS 586 CANDIDATES ARE IN THE FRAY
West UP kicks off battle for heartland
Caste dynamics and unemployment are expected to play a key role in western Uttar Pradesh.
DOING THE DOAB
Identity or livelihood? Between these two streams lies a dilemma for the voters of western UP, ground zero for the most contentious issues of our time