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economics & innovation

Soil is arguably the most important asset that a farmer, land-owner or indeed a country possesses, and yet is very difficult to quantify and evaluate in purely financial terms.  

Improved understanding of the economic drivers of soil health is needed for delivering improvements and reducing harmful behaviours - the crucial pillar for a tenancy agreement, an investment decision or an outcomes-based payment scheme.  It will also help forge a vital shared understanding between new communities of stakeholders and contribute to more joined up decision-making.


Issues and topics which we will address through our Economics & Innovation workstream include:

  • What are the principal economic drivers of sustainable soils?

  • How should a subsidised farming scheme that incentivises sustainable soil management be created?

  • What role is there for third parties such as utilities, end users, retailers etc. in achieving sustainable soils?

  • What might a market for soil look like?

Soil is not seen as the wealth and resource it is. 33% of our soils are degraded. In what other area would you allow 33% of your asset to be degraded?
— Professor Chris Collins, Soil Security programme, University of Reading