In a bid to promote soil fertility management, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Sabo Nanono has called on soil scientists to work on improving soil improvement by enable farmers to test their soil before the farming season commences for a more productive use of the land.
This call by Nanono was made in Abuja at the experts’ dialogue organized by the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization to commemorate World Soil Day (WSD), this year’s theme being “Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity.”
The application of a proper soil fertility management strategy is required for farmers to maximize the efficiency of nutrients and water use and improve agricultural productivity.
The determination of soil fertility through a soil test is important in order to optimize crop production and apply the right quantity of fertilizer, which in turn prevents environmental contamination caused by excess fertilizer and conserves money and energy.
Representing Minister Nanono at the event, Shehu Bello, director of agriculture, land and climate change management services, advised that soil testing and surveying should, as a matter of urgency, be carried out annually so that experts may advise farmers on inputs, good agronomic practices and soil health.
According to Bello, the theme of WSD 2020 is critical to food security and the achievement of sustainable agricultural practices: “Without soil, we cannot have plants, without plants we cannot have food and without food we cannot have human existence.”
Also in attendance, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, senior special assistant to the president on sustainable development goals, emphasized the importance of soil to human existence, adding that without healthy soil, it would be nearly impossible to attain food security.
“Food security will guarantee adequate food supply for human consumption thereby ending hunger, and make afforestation and tree planting efforts a success,” Orelope-Adefulire said.