BY JOSEPH CHIBUEZE, Abuja
Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) and OCP Africa Fertilisers Limited have entered into partnership to address the issue of problematic soils in Nigeria.
The partnership is meant to improve soil quality and sustainability with a view to increasing agricultural productivity.
Registrar/CEO, NISS, Professor Victor Okechukwu Chude said during his presentation at an inception workshop on management of problematic soils in the country that the era of blanket recommendation of fertilisers was gone.
He advised that before fertilisers are recommended, soil analysis to determine the specific fertiliser that is good for a particular soil should be carried out.
The NISS boss said the partnership will ensure interpretation and dissemination of right information to farmers through extension workers.
According to him, “Among the many objectives of this partnership is, on the field assessment of soil fertility status by carrying out survey and analysis of soil samples in the target areas to promote the formulation of crop/site specific fertiliser blends as a precision strategy to efficient food production.”
Also speaking at the workshop , OCP Africa Country manager, Mr Caleb Usoh, who was represented by the production and technical manager, OCP Africa, Mr Oluwatoba Asana, said, the project aligns with numerous other OCP Africa farmer centric projects aimed at bringing precision to the practice of agriculture in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
According to him, “Some of our farmer-centric projects include OCP School Lab, Soil survey and specialty fertiliser development, Digital soil map and enhancing distribution of farm input to underserved farming communities through our farm & fortune hubs across the country”
While thankinthr parties involved in the project, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe said the initiative will certainly address the problem of low productivity among farmers.
He pleaded with the partners to preserve the environment as they implement the initiative so that the ecosystem is not adversely affected. “The technologies to be introduced should be such that our farmers can adopt and implement at a minimal cost,” he said.