Gardener begins epic London-India bike ride to fight soil degradation

LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - A gardener from Amsterdam begins a 30,000-km (18,640-mile) bicycle trek from London to India on Wednesday as part of a campaign to raise awareness about soil degradation.

Rens Goede's roundabout journey to the city of Coimbatore in southern India, in support of the "Save Soil" movement, will see him travel across 30 countries and will last an estimated two years.

"I just decided I can do more. I love to cycle, so I thought: do something crazy, get on the (bi)cycle and just do it," the 31-year-old told Reuters.

"If we don't act now, (soil) will degrade further and future generations will suffer big-time; we should prevent that. We are the first generation... who can turn this situation around."

Goede's mission mirrors that of Indian yogi Sadhguru, who last year carried out the same journey by motorbike, launching "Save Soil".

The movement, backed by the likes of the World Food Programme, says it aims "to address the global soil degradation crisis and support governments in implementing concrete policy changes for soil health".

According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, soil erosion could lead to a 10% loss in global crop production by 2050.

Reporting by Hannah Ellison; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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