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FG to support NISS on Soil Management

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Effective management of soil and water resources will lead to food security.

The Nigerian government has expressed its commitment to providing assistance to the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) as well as other public and private organisations, with the ultimate goal of effectively managing soil and water resources to attain Food Security. During the Experts’ Dialogue event held in Abuja to mark World Soil Day (WSD), Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi, who serves as the Minister of State for Agriculture, expressed that WSD is an annual event celebrated on December 5th. The theme for the year 2023 is “Soil and Water: A Source of Life”.

Mr. Tanimu Ibrahim, the Director of Planning and Research in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, spoke on behalf of Abdullahi and highlighted his worries about the detrimental effect of human actions on quality. He emphasised the appropriateness of the chosen theme for 2023, as it aligns with the pressing issues faced in addressing the consequences of Climate Change. He believes that the act of gathering professionals for dialogue will undeniably contribute to the enhancement of soil and water management, vital components of life.

Neglect, misuse, and excessive usage endanger the soil.

Koffy Kouacou, who is the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Representative, emphasised its remarkable potential in storing, converting, and replenishing nutrients. Kouacou highlighted that a significant proportion of the crucial 18 nutrients essential for crop production originate from healthy soil, approximately 15 to be precise. Regrettably, he underscored a distressing reality which includes unethical human practices, the deterioration of biodiversity, desertification, and the influence of climate change, which have collectively led to the degradation of one-third of our valuable soil resources.

In addition, the world is facing a severe concern pertaining to the imbalanced nutrients in the soil due to neglect, misuse, and excessive usage. This issue not only endangers the soil but also poses a threat to the overall well-being. In order to tackle this problem, FAO is redoubling its efforts to promote agricultural Innovation. Their aim is to gather substantial evidence on the efficacy of best practices in transforming the agri-food systems and ensuring the sustainable management of our precious land resources.

Projections indicate a 90% degradation in global quality by 2050.

He expressed their unwavering dedication to enhancing their involvement to a greater extent, with the purpose of preserving biodiversity and ensuring the vitality of the earth beneath the feet. Also, the President and Chairman of NISS, Prof. Ayoade Ogunkunle, disclosed that projections indicated a distressing degradation of 90 percent in global quality by the year 2050. In light of this imminent threat, Ogunkunle emphasised the vital need for integrated management strategies to address the inseparable connection between soil and water resources.

Similarly, the core duty of the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) lies in regulating the Soil Science profession within Nigeria. The primary goal set forth by this organisation is to become the leading regulatory institute for both Science and agricultural practices in Nigeria, ultimately working towards enhancing the overall quality of life for the Nigerian population. All stakeholders’ profitability and efficiency can be enhanced by regulating the practice. This will foster Environmental Sustainability and create an improved management system, ultimately leading to high Agricultural Productivity and ensuring food Security across Nigeria.

Scientists were equipped with the latest global advancements.

Over the past months, the NISS has initiated a capacity-building program, benefiting about 210 scientists registered in Nigeria. With the aim of enhancing agricultural practices within the nation, Professor Victor Chude, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of NISS, emphasised the importance of this training initiative. The training, explained by the registrar as part of a series, aims to ensure that professionals are well-informed about the latest global advancements and innovations in their field. He further stated that it will equip them with the most current trends and the newest abilities required.


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