Indian guru Sadhguru leads SaveSoil, a global project that aims to improve soil health all over the world. He requests offering farmers financial assistance to motivate them to keep their soil’s organic content at a minimum of 3%. According to experts, more than 50% of the agricultural soil on earth has already lost its quality. Geomorphology professor David Montgomery says that overgrazing, planting only one crop continually, and applying too much weed killer all contribute to soil degradation. Modern plowing disturbs the soil to get rid of weeds. However, it exposes germs beneath the soil that are important to its health. When these microorganisms are exposed to the sun, the soil loses its fertility.

Farmers need to rethink the role of technology in agriculture, says Ben Raskin, director of agroforestry and horticulture at the UK’s Soil Association. This involves investing in modern farm equipment. But in the end, Mr. Raskin continues, people might need to divert their focus from quick remedies and look a bit further. So far, only about 10% of soil life is thought to have been discovered, based on scientists. Understanding the composition of the soil may lead to the development of whole new businesses in an effort to provide farmers with the best nutrients for their land. Returning to simple, tried-and-true techniques can result in new ideas.