Soil Fertility under the Principles of Bioeconomy and Agroecology

The importance of the restoration of soil fertility in agriculture relies on being part of the solution to climate change and preserving our planet’s biodiversity as well as an efficient use of food resources. In the context of bioeconomy, it refers to the use of biological resources and sustainable production to achieve long-term productivity1. Moreover, a sustainable agriculture is promoted on a global scale by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically, goal 2, zero hunger2. Therefore, achieving this goal involves a proper management of soil fertility.

Due to the fact that bioeconomy is based on knowledge, biotechnological innovation, synergy between the biosciences and other modern technologies, and all of this in an era of climate uncertainty, it represents enormous potential to find solutions for current problems like degradation and loss of biodiversity of agricultural soils. The relationship between bioeconomy and local communities, having developed and adapted traditional techniques and practices, has great potential to create and improve new products and substances to be integrated into modern sustainable methods.

To restore soil fertility, we propose to develop bioeconomy and agroecology in agriculture by means of innovative practices and products, such as the use of organic fertilizers and pesticides derived from agricultural residues which have a positive impact on the soil microbiology and the local biodiversity of agricultural ecosystems. Furthermore, the promotion and integration of the digitalization of agriculture, the technical innovation for the sustainable use of soils and other developments will result in the reduction of carbon emissions and the increase of carbon capture in the soil. This proposal is better expressed in the following diagram:

Technologies for the Integrated Management of Agricultural Residues

Bioeconomy and Agroecology Principles

Nature-based Solutions

Digital Technologies


Reuse of agricultural biomass

Identifying smart processes and smart production


Adapted bio-solutions

New organic product, new functions and properties, less toxic


Improvement of soil ecosystem


Research in this field must focus on the analysis, evaluation, strengthening of techniques and practices, and existing approaches (Nature-based Solutions, holistic perspective of indigenous peoples) in agriculture in order to promote healthy and fertile soils that have an effect on crop yields. An assessment of the use of local agricultural residues and beneficial microorganisms, supported by the use of available modern technology, needs to be performed in order to provide data that can successfully be put into practice. The effects of such improvements will be a reduction of CO2 emissions and a rise in carbon capture in the soil (increase of organic matter) that will relieve the pressure on the agricultural ecosystem. In addition, new products and substances should be developed to enhance soil fertility and to avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers that are manufactured in factories operated with fossil fuels.

1 Raj Rengalakshmi; Manjula M.; V. R. Prabavathy; S. Jegan; B. Selvamukilan. 2018. Towards a Sustainable Bioeconomy: Principles,Challenges and Perspectives,. Building Bioeconomy in Agriculture: Harnessing Soil Microbes for Sustaining Ecosystem Services, pp. 261–277. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-73028-8_14.
2 United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. United Nations. Available online at Access on 20.02.2021
3 Ibid. Raj Rengalakshmi. 2018.