'Soil health is degraded in most regions of India'
'We must also have a national soil protection policy. Prime agricultural land must be demarcated and protected against urbanization and other non-agricultural uses. There must be Rights-of-Soil or Rights-of-Nature'
NEW DELHI: Extractive farm practices such as higher use of chemicals and burning of crop residues are degrading Indian soil and jeopardizing the health of its citizens, says Rattan Lal, soil scientist, and winner of the 2020 World Food Prize. According to Lal, who is currently the director of Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University, India needs to formulate a national soil protection policy and pay farmers for ecosystem services. Edited excerpts from an interview: