Scientists Call for Protection of Nigeria’s Soil Resources to Enhance Food Production
Soil scientists under the aegis of the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) have taken steps to reverse the unwholesome practices being witnessed in soil management and conservation across the country in order to preserve the nation’s soil resources for optimal food production.
The NISS also vowed to root out quackery in soil management and put in place appropriate mechanisms to protect soil resources from those who are bent on destroying the basic foundation for sustenance of life.
The South East Coordinator of NISS, Professor Charles Asadu, made this known yesterday at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop on the protection and management of soil resources being hosted by Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State.
Asadu lamented that quackery has been wreaking havoc on soil management and conservation, adding that the NISS is poised to invoke the bill; which Presieent Muhammad Buhari signed into law on February 3, 2017, to address the problem.
According to him, this law mandated the NISS to regulate the profession of soil science in Nigeria as well as provide a scientific basis for enhancing and sustaining productivity of soil resources in the country with minimal environmental degradation, especially with regard to food production among others.
The workshop, which is meant for extension workers and farmers drawn from Abia and Imo States, is holding at the College of Crop and Soil Science of MOUAU.
The Vice-chancellor of MOUAU, Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, who declared the workshop open, noted that the objectives of the NISS in protecting the nation’s soil resources were in tandem with the vision and mandate of the university.
Iwe, who was represented by Professor Chukwuma Ofor, urged the participants to tune their minds on how to properly manage the soil to sustain its profitability.
The Dean of the College, Professor Olayinka Nwachukwu, said that the topics lined up for discussion were not only fascinating but aligned with the United Nations declaration that without soils, no life would exist on earth.
Nwachukwu, therefore, said that all necessary measures should be taken by experts and relevant authorities to protect soil resources from relentless assaults by enemies of nature.
The Abiah State NISS Coordinator, Professor Damian , disclosed that it took many years to pass the NISS bill into law, hence governments at all levels must endeavor to play their parts to ensure effective implementation of its provisions.