UK/Portuguese joint venture sets out to educate on how to regenerate Portugal’s arid soils

Mobile laboratory provides training programmes/ workshops and consultations

With Portugal’s soil quality a growing emergency, a joint UK/ Portuguese venture has begun in Viseu aimed at educating farmers, landowners and municipalities about the life within the soil and how it can be ‘restored’, regenerated and essentially brought back to life.

Symbiosis Soil Lab is the brainchild of soil regeneration specialist Jake Corin, and business and communications manager Sílvia Silva.

The duo runs a mobile laboratory in which they provide training programmes, educational workshops and consultations, as well as what they call “our unique soil microbiology analysis to help deepen the public’s understanding of the soil”.

One of their focuses is to enlarge and project microorganisms that live in a healthy soil onto screens “so that people can learn, understand and create awareness of the soil microbial life”.

Right now, they are working with private companies and the municipality in Viseu. But hopes are that as people become more and more aware of the paucity of soil quality – as a result of multiple factors, not simply the chronic lack of rainwater – they will get in touch with Symbiosis Soil Lab and try and ring the changes.

The joint venture approached the Resident following our story on the declining quality of Portugal’s soils.

Jake Corin says the lab has already had “good feedback” on work so far, and is keen to show people there is hope; there are solutions to the global and local soil problem.

He explains that part of the project’s mission is to “inspire a new way of thinking for agriculture and land management practices which is more attractive to the younger generations. 

“The evolution of ecological agriculture could inspire and provide a diverse range of career opportunities for a range of specialist professions” in a sector that, by its very nature, is “up and coming”, he said.

The measurement of life is through biodiversity. Our project provides important information as well as scientific data about the diversity of life within the soil through our microbial analysis”.

For more information on this initiative, see Symbiosis Soil Lab’s website.

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