A professor of Soil Science and Provost of the Niger College of Education, Minna, Professor Muhammad Yakubu, has said that Nigeria lacks a national soil classification system to support transfer of technology from one farmer to another.
He stated this while delivering the 18th Inaugural Lecture of the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, tagged, “Pedology and the Nigerian Farmer: The Nexus.”
While calling on the federal government to set up a team of soil scientists through the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science and Soil Science Society of Nigeria to come up with a classification system relevant to Nigeria’s needs, the don said lack of adequate soil scientists to undertake surveys on adaptability of soils to various crops and guide farmers on techniques to adopt while planting crops to achieve maximum yield was also undermining agricultural activities in the country.
“Sustainable soil management is the lifeline of agriculture and pedological research in the foundation. There is dearth of soil information in Nigeria, coupled with lack of detailed soil survey data to support agricultural development.
“The training of young scientists in the area of soil science is important. Of all the disciplines in agriculture, soil science is the least subscribed by students. The expansion of new agricultural lands, environmental studies and interpretations of land for various uses requires the expertise of a pedologist.”
The don emphasised the need for increased pedological research in Nigeria for the benefit of farmers, noting that it would help in transforming the agricultural sector and improve economic growth.
Professor Yakubu also recommended that the use of soil in the country should be guided by laws and regulations to ensure sustainable use and proper land management.
He said a well conducted detailed soil survey would help farmers in introducing innovations in resource management system, lamenting that despite its vastness in agricultural land, Niger State has no soil map.
Earlier, the vice chancellor of the institution, Professor Abu Kasim Adamu, said the lecture was relevant, saying that farmers in the state needed to be rightly informed on current issues on soil and soil science as they get prepared for the next planting season.
He called on youths to take up farming as an occupation and make themselves active employers of labour rather than being political thugs or social miscreants.