In line with its efforts to expand the agricultural sector, the federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to reorganizing agriculture as one of the main elements of the country's national development.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, who made it known during the inauguration of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Institute for Soil Science in Abuja, recently reaffirmed the need to use the results of research from academic and research institutions in Nigeria to strengthen the country's production capacity, especially in the agricultural sector.
Ogbe noted that the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARI) and the Federal Colleges of Agriculture (FGC) throughout the country should always consider the soil as a fundamental element of their research / training activities.
He said that the creation of the Institute is also an important step in meeting the country's desire to increase food production, as well as to effectively transform and promote the use of soil, land and other resources.
According to him, “there is no doubt that Nigeria, as a nation, is facing the challenge of turning the monoproduct economy into a diversified economy, where the non-oil sectors will play a more important role in stimulating the economic growth of the nation,
“The agricultural sector is one of those areas where Nigeria, with its rich human and natural resources, has high comparative advantages. In line with the vision of the federal government’s agricultural policy, it is expected that the effective functioning of the Institute will provide a more solid institutional basis for promoting agricultural development as a source of income for the country.
The minister, who explained that scientists recognized soil erosion restrictions, poor soil fertility maintenance, lack of data on soil resources and soil maps, as factors contributing to low agricultural production, say that the only noticeable action taken on the soil in all these programs was fertilizer supplies at subsidized prices.
At the same time, he reiterated the urgent need for a well-designed scientific soil management strategy to combat degradation and ensure the continuous use of soil to increase and sustain crop production.