Food Security: FG urged to prioritize Soil Research, Testing  

An agriculture expert has called on governments at all levels to provide subsidies for soil testing to Nigerian farmers in order to increase food security in Nigeria. Specifically, a professor of soil fertility and organic agriculture, Professor James Adediran, made the call while delivering the 362nd Inaugural Lecture of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, titled: “The Natural Treasures Inherent in Soil: Explore and Manage It for Agricultural Production, Sustenance of Life and Survival of Mankind,” at the Oduduwa Hall of the institution. He noted that the main focus of the lecture was to draw attention to soil management techniques which majority of Nigerian farmers must embrace if the nation’s soil resources would be exploited in a sustainable manner to ensure food security. Adediran, who is the immediate past Director of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), urged all tiers of government to promote soil testing programmes and pay more attention to soil research to enhance the resource base of the nation and its environment. According to him, soil has treasures and there is a need to explore and manage it for agricultural production for the sustenance of the nation. He said, “Whatever we do, we should be cautious of not damaging the soil; we need to take care of the soil, when we do that, automatically we are taking care of ourselves, this generation and the next.” Also, the don pointed out that recycling of organic wastes to fertilisers and technologies on integrated soil fertility management involving alternative utilisation of resource materials should be encouraged among Nigerian farmers by the government.

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