Nigerian Soil Scientists Makes Case For Soil Conservation
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Nigeria – NIGERIAN soil scientists have stressed the need  for  land users  in Nigeria  to avoid   all forms of   destructive use of   soil for  farming process.

Speaking at the 45th Annual Conference of the Soil Science  Society of Nigeria ( SSSN), held at Bowen University, Iwo, recently,   the society reiterated  with emphasis, that quality and sufficient  food production  in Nigeria  is depended on how much we can preserve the soil nutrients  that support commercial food production for the nation.

Drawn their discuss from the theme of this year’s conference; Understanding  Soil organic matter dynamics : key to sustainable Ecosystem health and food  security, the conference,  opined that preservation of carbon in the soil is key to keep soil alive  in order to perform its functions efficiently well to  human survival.

Addressing the participants at  the opening ceremony held on Tuesday, the President of the society, Professor Bashiru Raji  asserted that Soil management  to  ensure sustainable ecosystem health and food security   is essential in the   food shortage situation control  in the country.

According to him, the carbon in the soil is an indicator for food security  against climate change, adding that  the knowledge about how soil could be managed to address the challenges of ensuring food security  should be shared among the land users  in the country.

While he enjoined Nigerian government to find a lasting solution to all the forms insurgents pervading the country, which are very inimical to   agribusiness, he  said  government should  strive to take stock of its achieved progress in land restoration and collaborate with soil  scientists  in its bid to manage the soil for its sustainability   as natural resources.

The society condemned in its totality, the excessive  use  of inorganic materials on soil  with an intent to boost its yields .According to Dr.  Obianuju  Orji from Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Soil can be made alive and can as well be killed  depending on    ways  it is being   handled. She warned  that soil nutrients  are not easily replaceable when its loses its natural  resource.

She said: “ With the current climate change in the ecosystem  the deplete of  carbon matter and sequestration, the more the carbon we can tie up in the soil, the less we  have as  green   house  gases that affects climate change for food security. Most of the plants’ available nutrient are in organic form.

A lot of our soil are depleted, as  we continue to cultivate the soil, the plants take away the nutrient from the soil, and if it is  not replenished  it depleted. Before now, famers used inorganic materials that are not healthy to the  environment and  soil’s life.  But the trend now is using the organic materials as sources of nutrient to maintain an healthy soil structure,”.

Speaking in the same vein at the occasion, the Vice President, Administration, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Deacon  Musa, Ubandoma, who represented the President of the Convention , Rev. Dr Supo Ayokunle, at the occasion,  commended the organizers for the  theme of the conference, describing  it as apt.

He then  appealed to  Nigerian government at all levels to increase the budget  allocation for Agriculture sector. According to him, the development would go a long way to address food shortages in the country.  having controlled the courses of insecurity in the nation.

The vice Chancellor, Bowen University  Professor Joshua Ogunwole, an erudite  soil scientist ,in his welcome address  as the chief host of the conference,  stated that  soil is critical to agriculture and  that it  should not be held with  levity. He added   that organic matter is very important for sustainable soil health.

“The society would ever be ready to make its impact felt in the sustainable  ecosystem  health and food security process  in Nigeria.VoN

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