Og­beh urges soil sci­en­tists to check degra­da­tion

Sunday Trust - - AGRIC BUSINESS - By Vin­cent A. Yusuf

…in­au­gu­rates in­sti­tute gov­ern­ing coun­cil

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.

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