Operationalizing the soil health metaphor to create sustainable food systems, with a focus on smallholder farming in the Global South

- Restoring / enhancing soil health is key for sustainable intensification and regenerative agriculture in the Global South, while reducing vulnerability of
smallholder farmers to climate change.
- A flexible framework is proposed that can be used to target, monitor and adapt soil health interventions with relevant stakeholders
- Development of biological soil health indicators and assessment methods require more research – given the key role of soil biology for soil health/functions
- High fertilizer costs, attention for soil health have led to the promotion of “smallholder-friendly” “biofertilizers” especially in Latin America, but scientific
evidence and mechanistic understanding is lacking.
- Robust, hypothesis based, experimental research is needed to develop targeted, proven methods, alongside feasibility studies and development of business models