The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said there is urgent need for a well planned scientific soil management strategy to control or prevent degradation for continuous use of the soil for increased and sustained crop production.
The minister stated this in Abuja while inaugurating the governing council of the newly established Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS).
Chief Ogbeh said, “The establishment of the institute is also an important step in meeting the nation’s drive for increased food production, as well as effective transformation and the promotion of use of soil, land and other resources.”
He said scientists had recognised the soil constraints of erosion, poor maintenance of soil fertility, lack of data on soil resources inventory and soil maps as contributory factors to low agricultural production.
“The only noticeable action taken on soil in all these programmes was the supply of fertilisers at subsidised prices. Even this action may be harmful to crops in the absence of correct and up-to-date information on the characteristics of the soils,” he added.
The institute is expected to prescribe and regulate the standard of academic qualifications and practical skills to be attained by persons seeking to become registered members, associates or fellows of the institute; advance the education, science, technology and art of soil science for crop production in collaboration with zonal coordinating research institutes.
A renowned soil scientist, Prof. Victor Chude, heads the institute as its pioneer registrar.
Source: Daily Trust