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Terra Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2395-8030Print version ISSN 0187-5779


COTLER, Helena; MARTINEZ, Mario  and  ETCHEVERS, Jorge D.. Organic carbon in agricultural soils of Mexico: Research and public policy. Terra Latinoam [online]. 2016, vol.34, n.1, pp.125-138. ISSN 2395-8030.

The analysis of an extensive literature review on research into carbon storage in soils of Mexico shows that conservation agriculture and various traditional agroecosystems can significantly increase organic carbon in soils, which in turn affects their resistance to impact raindrop, improves infiltration rate and the amount of water available, increases the content of microbial biomass, reduce erosion, and mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases. The importance acquired by the soil quality on food security and environmental impacts, including climate change, explains the importance for inclusion in public policy. However, the review of public policy instruments of the current governmental period (2013-2018) exposes large gaps and contradictions that arise through concrete examples of actions. The low budget for soil conservation (2.12% of the total budget in 2014 of SAGARPA) applied mostly (over 80%) on water infrastructure, shows on the one hand, the absence of recognition of soil as a means to infiltrate and retain water; and on the other hand, the incipient incorporation of soil carbon studies in the corresponding instruments of public policy. We identified several aspects needed to improve mainstreaming around soil carbon conservation: (i) generate public policies that recognize the functions and ecosystem services provided by soils (ii) strengthening institutionality on the subject of soils (iii) encourage conservation programs in situ that incorporate carbon through the promotion of agro-ecosystems adapted to the various territorial conditions.

Keywords : conservation agriculture; agroecosystems; adaptation; transversatility.

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