A listener of American Public Media’s Marketplace posted a long and thoughtful comment about our story that aired yesterday (“Soil is ground zero in African farming debate”).

“Marknic” writes:

Sustainable agriculture is indeed based on soil health. In universities around the world, soil science and agriculture has focused on two aspects of soil: soil chemistry and the physical nature of soils. The heretofore neglected aspect, foundational to the other two, however, is soil biology. This is the microbial life that drives all of the chemical activity and leads directly to the production of food products based on plant growth. … It’s nature’s cycle, and when we violate its laws, we suffer the consequences outlined in your story: dead, lifeless soils. And people starve.

Worth checking out the rest – including the friendly dig about the premise of the entire “Food for 9 Billion” project!

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Jon Miller

Jonathan Miller is executive director of Homelands Productions, a journalism cooperative specializing in public radio features and documentaries. As a freelance journalist, he has reported from Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and the U.S. for NPR, BBC, CBC, American Public Media's Marketplace, Monitor Radio, VOA, Radio Netherlands and Radio Deutsche Welle. He also has written for The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler, Parents, American Way, The Christian Science Monitor and many other publications. For 13 years, he lived and worked in the Philippines and Peru. 

Jon is currently serving as executive producer of "Food for 9 Billion," a collaborative project of Homelands Productions, the Center for Investigative Reporting, American Public Media's Marketplace, PRI's The World, and PBS NewsHour. He was executive producer of Homelands' award-winning "WORKING" project profiling workers in the global economy (2007-09) and the "Worlds of Difference" series about the responses of traditional societies to rapid cultural change (2002-05).