The Niger Conservation Consortium (Ng_SHC), which includes universities, including the University of Obafemi Awolowo (OAU) and research institutes, is a digital soil map for combating the low productivity of agriculture in the country.
Climate change has become more acute.
The Institute for Agrarian Research and Training of the OAU (IAR & T), which has a mandate for soil mapping and capacity building, is the anchor for mapping coordinated by the Ng_SHC.
IAR & T / Ng_SHC Coordinator, South, Dr. Olufunmilayo Ande said that Nigeria needs quality soil maps for food security.
Speaking with Nation, Dr. Ande, associate professor at the university, said that fertility and other soil characteristics are dynamic processes that need to be well understood for the country to feed its population.
She explained that for many years the birth rate in Nigeria has worsened and faced serious nutritional exhaustion and degradation. It expressed concern about the level of degradation of soil fertility in Nigeria, linking farmers' poverty to reduced soil fertility, as current management practices limit the support for sustainable crop production
According to her, most agricultural programs are carried out without sufficient scientific data on soil types and possibilities for crops.
She noted that farmers who implement agricultural programs to meet households only consider crop yields without integrating sustainable land management practices such as soil and water conservation.
According to her, it is necessary to conduct a survey of national soils and develop extensive information for land use planning.
To help combat this, she said that the institute is working with a consortium for a national soil map that would allow to compare fertilizers with soil conditions and crop requirements.
The modern digital mapping project combines satellite imagery with ground and historical information, analyzes soils and rainfall in different areas, and recommends suitable fertilizers and crops
A soil map is a geographical representation of the types and properties of soils, such as textures, organic matter and depths of horizons.
She explained that there are a number of uses, including the construction industry, but soil maps are used mainly by farmers, land users and politicians.
"Using such data," she added, "would lead to better results in comparison with traditional agriculture. However, to date, the perceived high cost of entry has been a barrier to many small farmers. "
She said that the group intends to make agriculture more accessible to farmers and landowners, combining a unique set of data to create significant areas of soil management. Therefore, she called for a paradigm shift from traditional methods to the introduction of proven technologies in order to improve the living conditions of farmers.