Stakeholders have said that effective management of both soil and water health are essential elements needed to grow and boost food production. At the experts’ dialogue to mark the 2023 World Soil Day (WSD) in Abuja yesterday, they said soil and water conservation contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, adding that it improves the land’s capacity to withstand extreme climate events such as droughts, floods and dust storms.
The theme of this year’s celebration, “Soil and Water, A Source of Life,” underscores the importance of maintaining healthy soil and adopting sustainable soil resource management.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), improper soil and water management practices affect soil erosion, soil biodiversity, soil fertility, and water quality and quantity.
President and chairman, Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), Prof Ayoade Ogunkunle, stressed that soil and water are interconnected resources that need integrated management. He said implementing sustainable soil management practices can enhance water availability for agriculture.
Prof Ogunkunle emphasised that integrated soil and water management practices can also provide essential ecosystem services, supporting life on earth and enhancing ecosystem resilience.
FAO country representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dominique Koffy Kouacou, highlighted the importance of soil health, citing its role in food production, biodiversity, and climate change mitigation.
He said FAO Global Soil Partnership is working to protect and restore soils through country-driven approaches and monitoring, with a focus on healthy soil, healthy people, and a healthy planet.