Why Is Soil Important to Humans?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 8, 2020 8:41:18 AM ET

Soil is important to humans because it provides much of the food consumed by people. It supports the growth of agricultural crops. Soil is also responsible for maintaining natural and artificial vegetation. Soil supports foundations of buildings, roads and communication infrastructures.


Soil is the upper layer of the earth on which plants grow. It is generally a black or dark-brown material that essentially contains a combination of various organic particles, clay and rock components. Soil is one of the three principal natural resources; the other two are air and water. Soil is regarded as life and the pillar of agriculture because it is the medium onto which most plants grow. Organisms found in the soil, such as worms, beetles, bacteria and fungi, obtain food from the soil.

Trees meant for commercial purposes are also grown in soil. The growth of forests, grasslands and many tree species that maintain the vegetation is supported by soil. Trees help in maintaining the landscape. Soil plays a vital role in the distribution of water, as well as its quality. The quality of topsoil determines whether the rainwater runs off or if it's absorbed to supplement surface waterbodies, such as lakes and rivers. Soil controls pollution because of its absorption properties.