By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
A University Don and Professor of Soil Survey and Land Evaluation, Prof Gabriel Akinboye Oluwatosin has advocated development of a national soil information system in Nigeria.
Prof Oluwatosin made the call on Thursday, while delivering the 377 inaugural lecture of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife titled, “Soil in Food and National Security: Matter Arising”, held at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
The Professor of Soil Survey and Land Evaluation, declared that in doing this, Federal government and other stakeholders should develop a national soil information systems in the country.
He pointed out that this is necessary in order to ensure production of nourishing food and prevent hunger in the country, adding that the world is presently facing a modern soil crisis and soil degradation.
” Food and national security are intrinsically linked to the soil. Attempting to accommodate growing food demand through unsustainable intensification and management practices is degrading the soil and we are running out of arable and grazing lands”, he said.
Prof Oluwatosin added, “To avoid further degradation, land should be used in accordance with its capability. We must care for soil and take measures to maintain its capability and working conditions in order to restore what has been lost through regenerative agriculture.
“Mr. Vice Chancellor sir, I would like to make the following recommendations: Development of a national holistic soil information systems based on the genoform and capability systems for easy connectivity among scientists and land users. Nigeria needs semi-detailed digital soil maps for ease of planning and policy making”.
The University Don, stressed, “Development and reporting of a national soil capability system and a resolution that is effective across scales (farm, state and regional) to underpin account for soil. Adoption of elevation strategies and indicators of the continuum of soil condition in the form of a minimum data set as well as soil management at local, spatial and temporal scales”.
Speaking further, Prof Oluwatosin recommended that, “a national soil information systems is needed in order to ensure easy connectivity among of scientists and land users”, adding that food and national security are linked to the soil.
Emphasizing that Nigeria is running out of arable and grazing lands, he said that to avoid further degradation, land should be used in accordance with its capability, saying, “Reporting the value of the soil asset through developing a statement of Nigeria’s natural capital. Developing a national account for soil in order to recognise the value that soil contributes to the financial and business sectors”.
The lecture was attended by the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Adebayo Banire and Executive Director of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Professor Veronica Obatolu.