The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) has advocated for sustainable management and protection of soil resources to boost food security.
This appeal was made by the Coordinator, North Central of the Institute, Prof. Akim Osunde during a well-attended press conference to mark the 2022 World Soil Day (WSD) with the theme, “SOILS: WHERE FOOD BEGINS” held today, Monday, December 5, 2022, at the Entrepreneurship Centre, Federal University of Technology, Minna.
Prof. Osunde, who is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria (FSSSN) and a Registered Soil Scientist (RSS) stated that the enactment of effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources would address the problem of frequent soil wastage, stating that concerted efforts by the relevant stakeholders are needed to save the soil.
“There are still concerns about soil health. Throughout the world, the soil is wasting away at an accelerated rate, and when soil is lost, it takes years to replace. It takes up to 1,000 years to produce just 2 to 3 cm of soil. It’s believed that up to 90% of the world’s land will be degraded by 2050. The situation is dire, which means there is no time to waste when it comes to saving our soil.
Soils form, store, transform and recycle nutrients we all need to survive. The planet survives today only thanks to a few cm of healthy soil that grows 95% of our food. World Soil Day 2022 (#WorldSoilDay) and its campaign ” SOILS: WHERE FOOD BEGINS ” aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, fighting soil degradation, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health”, he disclosed.
The academic don maintained that there is a need to continuously create awareness and educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
He stated that arrangements have been concluded to tour media houses within the zone in the coming months to create awareness of the importance of this year’s event and other soil-related issues to enhance soil security and sustainability.
“At the national level, NISS has been celebrating the World Soil Day in various forms annually in collaboration with various national and international (Agric. related) organizations in Abuja through road walks, public lectures and sensitization visits to local communities in and around the FCT.
For this year’s event, to commemorate this very important occasion, today Monday 5th December, the Institute organized a 30-minute Road Walk (8.00 am – 9.30 am) around the FCT, and thereafter an Experts Dialogue that commenced at 10.00 am at the National Press Centre (Radio House), Herbert Macaulay Way, Garki-Abuja. At the end of the Experts’ Dialogue session a communique will be issued on how best to maintain the soil to boost food production in the country as well as strategies on how to tackle the litany of problems affecting soil management in Nigeria and Africa at large”, he revealed.
The consummate scholar of soil science expressed appreciation to the press for their excellent, fair and accurate coverage of NISS programmes throughout the years, adding that the press has given the NISS activities much-needed positive exposure in the media.
“The mandates of the Institute have been excellently shown on television, aired on radio, posted across the various social media platforms, and read in the newspapers”, he stated.
The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) is primarily charged with the responsibility for regulating the profession of Soil Science.
Ugboaja, Stanley Uzoamaka
Media Assistant to the Coordinator NISS, North Central Zone