Soil scientists around Nigeria, on Tuesday, converged on the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) with an agenda to finding a lasting solution to the problems of prevailing soil degradation in the various geographical zones in the country.
In his opening address, the Executive Director, IAR&T, Professor James Adediran, gave a solid background to the beginning of soil research in Nigeria, explaining the need to understand their vision and look for appropriate solutions to the fast degrading soil of Nigeria.
He opined that the poor management of the land had resulted to decline in soil productivity and enhanced farmers’ poverty, stressing the need to conduct and coordinate extensive soil research for the development of improved soil management technologies in all agro-ecologies of the country.
He also said that nationally, institute has been trying to extend her research activities to all the agro ecologies under her mandate.
“Soil research has not been well harmonised in Nigeria to serve as foundation for agricultural transformation. Also, the institute has tried to work with all the agro ecologies for example, soil mapping in the recent years include NC- Katcha, LGA Niger; NE-Gusua LGA, Taraba State; NW Kokobesse in Kebbi State, SE- Ebonyi State etc. The institute has made international impact through externally funded project such as West Africa Agricultural Productivity Projects (Involving sustainable soil and water management organic fertiliser promotion).
“Much more could be done through proper coordination of activities with regional coordinators to help move soil research forward. The event was attended by soil experts and regional representatives from the various zones in the country, and was engaged in discussions as regards areas to advise, plan and decide way forward to move soil research forward in Nigeria.”