The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) has called for urgent national policy on soil to address degradation and pollution which could plunge the country into frightening food insecurity.
The chairman, Governing Board and President of the institute, Professor Ayo Ogunkunle made the call yesterday while addressing newsmen at the quarterly meeting of the board in Abuja.
He said, “The wrong use of soil should be controlled. Food security is now much more important even than the normal security you’re talking about because hunger kills, and unless we do something that will bring food self-sufficiency, food security will destroy.
“Let me inform you concerning the soil problems that we have. We called it soil degradation as a body of problems. It is the reduction in the capacity of the soil to produce due to many reasons. You have desertification in the north and we are told that desert encroachment is moving at the rate of two metres per year. Unless we do something about it, before you know it, it will get as far as the southern part.”
The don listed some of the pollution problems destroying Nigerian soil to include indiscriminate application of fertilizer, disposal of plastic materials, use of substandard agrochemicals, deforestation, bush burning, as well as the ravaging effect of oil leaks in the south.
Professor Ogunkule opined that the country must as a matter of national urgency, come up with strategic soil policy to deal with the problems associated with soil management in the country.
Also speaking the Registrar of the council, Professor Victor O. Chude said if the national policy on soil is formulated, it will address the many problems affecting the productivity of farmers through soil.
He particularly appealed to President Muhammed Buhari to sign the Fertiliser Quality Control and Regulation Bill in order to control the quality of the product, which at the moment affect the soil.