Advance Solutions To Persistent Soil Degradation, ABU Charges Scientists

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Ahmadu Bello University (ABU))

By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria

The Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Professor Kabiru Bala has appealed to Soil Science Society of Nigeria to come up with solutions that would address the persistent problems of soil.degradation in Nigeria towards mitigating food shortage in the country.

He made the appeal during the 46th Annual Conference of the society in Zaria on Tuesday.

Represented by Prof. Mohammed Faguji Ishiyaku, Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), he also called on the society to constantly be in touch with key stakeholders towards addressing emerging challenges on matters that relate to soil management and utilization.

According to him, an annual programme is too little to engage members of the public, if only the current challenges of soil productivity are to be addressed.

“Such communications must be tailored to make it very comprehensible to ordinary members of the larger society if only your expertise is going to be of help to our country,’’ the vice chancellor said.

Prof. Kabiru Bala urged the society to address issues on the need to revitalize and renew curriculum especially in soil science education.

He added that it has become imperative for universities to graduate soil scientists who are going to be more competitive and dynamic in their ability to apply knowledge for development.

The Vice-Chancellor said that this year’s conference with a theme, `Sustaining Living Soil Ecosystem: The Adoption of Soil Management Practices For Mitigating Climate Change for National Development’ was very timely and relevant.

He said the theme would dwell on the crisis that is bedeviling Nigeria and the ecosystem that is neighboring the desert such the Sahel and dry Savannah vegetation.

Earlier, Prof. Bashiru Raji, president of the society said that the event was aimed at raising awareness towards addressing the growing challenges in soil management.

He added that the conference was also aimed at drawing the attention of policy makers and key stakeholders towards improving soil health and fighting against soil salinization.

“We will engage key stakeholders as part of the efforts to boost land remediation initiatives; we have collaborative efforts with other key stakeholders to disseminate key land remediation messages,’’ he said.

Professor Raji said land degradation is very serious and devastating in Nigeria, stressing that small and medium scale farmers are not buoyant enough to embrace soil remediation efforts on their own.

He therefore, appealed to the government to focus more on the soil remediation initiatives as the climate change, erosion and desertification are imminent.

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