The Nigerian Institute of Soil Science (NISS), recently put together a workshop for extension workers and farmers in the South-West part of Nigeria on the protection and management of soil resources.
Speaking with the media, shortly after the opening ceremony of the workshop held on the premises of the regional office of the Oyo State Agricultural Development Agency (OYSADA), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, President and Chairman, Governing Council, NISS, Professor Ayoade Ogunkunle, noted that the training became very important so that the participants would know how to handle soils in order to get high yield of various crops and to also manage the soil in such a way that the yield will not go down.
He said: “This training is being put together as part of our mandate to regulate the management and the use of soils. We want this to reach out to every part of Nigeria and this is part of it. This is actually the first batch of the training which consists of three states, the second batch would hold in a short while. So that by the time this continues, we believe that the sustainable food security we are clamoring for would be a reality.”
Ogunkunle, while commenting on the quality of soils in Nigeria stated that: “the soil we have in Nigeria are mostly low activity clay soils. Clay minerals that dissolve in the sub soil spread by erosion. These soils do not have the quality of holding the nutrients for long and that is why we need organic manure content to be very high in our ecosystem.”
“Whereas, some of our farmers in rural areas burn organic matter. When they clear the soil to make the place clean, they resort to burning which is wrong because they are burning the real rich part of the soil, so what we are teaching them is how to manage the soil. Shifting cultivation is what our old farmers are used to, and we intend to teach them newer, better, soil conservation methods.” Nigerian Tribune