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Soils are endangered, but the degradation can be rolled back | UN FAO

curated by | December 6, 2015

“The world’s soils are rapidly deteriorating due to soil erosion, nutrient depletion, loss of soil organic carbon, soil sealing and other threats, but this trend can be reversed provided countries take the lead in promoting sustainable management practices and the use of appropriate technologies, according to a new UN report released today.”

John Payne’s insight:
"Appropriate technologies" there it is again. Of course the FAO may not be referring to or even intend to include robots in what they mean by that. And who could blame them. The contributions robotics could make to reversing soil degradation remain almost entirely unrealized potentials; why should we be surprised if anyone not involved in robotics has difficulty even wrapping their heads around the idea? Thus far there are precious few examples to point to, and many of those simply automate or add precision to the same agricultural methods that got us into this mess in the first place. Meanwhile, better methods are available, but fail to be widely adopted because they require hand labor and are therefore not scalable. Robotics could change that!

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