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World Soil Day: Farmers urged to protect soil

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Farmers in Nigeria have been told to always manage the soil very well so as to continually get the best from it.

The charge was given during the celebration of World Soil Day organised by Land and Water Resources Management Programme of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) in conjunction with the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science (NISS) on IAR&T premises, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Monday.

Head, Land and Water Resources Management Programme, IAR&T, Dr Olateju Dolapo Adeyolanu, said:”Farmers should manage their soil well because the soil is also a living thing. We have a lot of microorganisms that we cannot see with our naked eyes living in the soil.

“And these organisms are the ones helping in the degradation of raw materials so that it will serve as food for the microorganisms and also serve as fertiliser for crops that are being planted on the soil. So, farmers need to know what management practices to adopt so that the soil will be protected and be useful for this generation and the ones to come.”

Speaking on this year’s theme of World Soil Day: ’Soil: Where Food Begins’, Adeyolanu noted that there is the need to focus on the importance of soil as a support system for food production in Nigeria.

She posited that:”Without the soil, there is no food production and we have to manage the soil in a sustainable manner so that we will be able to ensure food security in the country.

“Also, we will be able to guide against degradation of the resource because it is not renewable, we cannot add to it. And if it is being degraded it will take so long for it to come back.

“That is why we are creating this awareness so that people will celebrate the soil, we won’t just look at it as ordinary sand that we can march on or play around with.”

Also speaking, Coordinator, the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science (NISS), South-West zone, Professor James Adeniran, described soil as a fundamental factor in agricultural production.

He stated that:”Soil is very useful for hunmanity and if we use it in a wrong manner, automatically we destroy it, as a result of that, we are destroying all that we get from it such as food and other things. Therefore, we should guide against actions capable of destroying the soil at all time.”

In her remarks, Executive Director, IAR&T, Veronica Obatolu, stated that proper education on the importance of soil to healthy crops, advocacy and concrete actions in the field are the best way to maintain healthy soil and help to achieve the sustainable development goals.

She stated further that: ”There is the need to encourage stakeholders to engage in proactive activities that will combat soil misuse and improve its health.”

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