INNOVATION CAN ENABLE SOIL, ON A GLOBAL BASIS, TO SUSTAIN 10 BILLION
PEOPLE AND SUSTAIN THE PLANET
Soil began its journey as a mixture of organic matter and minerals, creating
an evolutionary ecosystem that enabled agriculture
to take root — this was Soil 1.0. With the advent of synthetic
fertilizers and industrialized farming, soil has become a delivery
medium for chemicals to fight weeds and pests and enhance
yields — this is Soil 2.0.
While yields have indeed increased, this system is destorying soil organic matter, turning soil into dirt, leaching fertilizers,
and creating an over-reliance on irrigation, reduced capacity to withstand drought, and higher input costs for farmers. Ultimately,
Soil 2.0 cannot meet the demands of a growing global population and a resource-constrained planet where we have to grow more with less.
We need a new soil operating system.
In its inaugural annual FoodShot, we aim to identify breakthrough
solutions that create the new soil operating system —
Soil 3.0 — in which advances in biology, chemistry, data, genetics,
machine learning, and technology will re-establish a symbiotic relationship
between agriculture and soil in our modern food system. Soil 3.0 will enable soil,
on a global basis, to sustain 10 billion people and sustain the planet.
INNOVATING SOIL 3.0 SOLUTIONS
FoodShot Global winners will build a new soil foundation by
providing technological or ecological tools that enable farmers to maximize the long-term health of the land and reverse the
trend of Soil 2.0, in which inputs prioritize near-term agricultural yields at the expense of future fertility.