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The Importance of Saving the Soil: IELTS Reading Passage With Questions & Answers

Updated on 09 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team


Soil degradation is a global issue with far-reaching impacts on food security, climate change, and biodiversity. For IELTS learners, understanding environmental topics such as soil conservation is critical, not only for their academic and professional success but also for their role as informed global citizens. The following passage is tailored to provide in-depth content for IELTS reading practice, complete with questions and answers.

Passage: Saving the Soil

Soil, the thin layer of the earth's crust that supports all terrestrial life, is facing unprecedented threats. Intensive farming practices, deforestation, and pollution are just a few of the anthropogenic activities contributing to soil degradation. The loss of soil fertility and structure leads to diminished crop yields and increased vulnerability to erosion – a silent crisis that could jeopardize future food security.

The concept of 'saving the soil' encompasses various conservation practices aimed at protecting and restoring soil health. Techniques like crop rotation, conservation tillage, and organic farming are gaining traction among farmers and policymakers alike. Additionally, the integration of technology in soil conservation, including precision agriculture and soil monitoring systems, is paving the way for more sustainable land management.

One notable initiative is the 'Save Our Soils' campaign, which seeks to raise awareness and prompt action to preserve this vital resource. The campaign underscores the importance of soil as a carbon sink, highlighting its role in combating climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Questions & Answers:

Q1: What is a primary cause of soil degradation?

A. Organic farming

B. Precision agriculture

C. Intensive farming practices

D. Crop rotation

A1: C. Intensive farming practices

Explanation: Intensive farming practices often lead to the depletion of soil nutrients and structure, contributing significantly to soil degradation.

Q2: Fill in the blank: The loss of soil fertility leads to _________.

A2: diminished crop yields

Explanation: When soil loses its fertility, it cannot provide the necessary nutrients for plants to grow, which results in lower crop production.

Q3: True or False: Deforestation has no impact on soil quality.

A3: False

Explanation: Deforestation leads to the loss of trees that help maintain soil structure and health, thereby directly impacting soil quality.

Q4: What does the 'Save Our Soils' campaign primarily focus on?

A. Promoting precision agriculture

B. Encouraging the use of pesticides

C. Increasing awareness about soil preservation

D. Supporting deforestation efforts

A4: C. Increasing awareness about soil preservation

Explanation: The 'Save Our Soils' campaign is centered around raising awareness and driving actions to preserve and protect the health of the soil.

Q5: Fill in the blank: Soil acts as a carbon ________, aiding in climate change mitigation.

A5: sink

Explanation: Soil acts as a carbon sink by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide, which helps in reducing the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Q6: What is conservation tillage?

A. A method of soil monitoring

B. A traditional farming practice

C. A soil conservation technique

D. A type of pesticide

A6: C. A soil conservation technique

Explanation: Conservation tillage is a farming practice designed to preserve soil quality by reducing soil erosion and maintaining organic matter.

Q7: True or False: Crop rotation is detrimental to soil health.

A7: False

Explanation: Crop rotation is beneficial for soil health as it prevents the overuse of particular soil nutrients and can help in breaking disease cycles.

Q8: Which technology is NOT mentioned as a contributor to soil conservation?

A. Soil monitoring systems

B. Precision agriculture

C. Chemical fertilizers

D. Conservation tillage

A8: C. Chemical fertilizers

Explanation: Chemical fertilizers are not mentioned in the context of soil conservation technologies; rather, they are often associated with soil health issues when used excessively.

Q9: Fill in the blank: Organic farming is gaining traction as a means to __________ soil health.

A9: restore

Explanation: Organic farming practices are known for promoting soil health by maintaining organic matter and beneficial soil microbes.

Q10: What role does technology play in soil conservation?

A. It has no significant role

B. It complicates the conservation process

C. It supports sustainable land management

D. It is solely used for crop rotation

A10: C. It supports sustainable land management

Explanation: Technological advancements like precision agriculture and soil monitoring systems are instrumental in promoting sustainable land management and soil conservation.

Tips for Cracking the IELTS Reading Exam:

Tip 1: Familiarize yourself with key environmental vocabulary and concepts, as these topics are common in IELTS readings.

Tip 2: Pay close attention to the passage's structure to understand how arguments are developed, which will help you locate information quickly.

Tip 3: Practice skimming and scanning techniques to improve your ability to find answers without reading every word.

Tip 4: Use the process of elimination in multiple-choice questions by discarding options that are obviously incorrect.

Tip 5: For fill-in-the-blank questions, ensure that the word you choose grammatically fits into the sentence and makes sense contextually.

Through this passage and the accompanying questions, IELTS learners are challenged to understand and respond to information about soil conservation — a topic that not only is critical for the environment but also serves as an excellent subject for test preparation. The tips provided are specifically designed to navigate the reading passages efficiently, a skill that is indispensable for achieving a high score in the IELTS Reading section.

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upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

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