Musa Na Allah Sokoto
Nigerian Institute of Soil Science has concluded training for farmers and extension agents across the North West states in line with its mandate of promoting soil quality and management in Nigeria.
No fewer than Thirty farmers and a number of Extension Agents from Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara states and another set of fifty-two farmers and Extension Agents drawn from Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, and Jigawa states participated in the one-day training, held simultaneously in Sokoto and Kano states.
The Program Manager of Sokoto Agricultural Development Project, SADP, Alh. Abubakar Malami in his welcome address commended NISS for training and retraining farmers and Extension Agents in the country on various activities. He enjoined the participants to make good use of the knowledge to be acquired during the workshop and step it down to the grass root level.
Professor Samaila Sani Noma, of the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, UDUS, who is the zonal coordinator, remarked that the training is the second on the Protection and Management of Soil Resources but, sixth in the series held in the zone.
The climax of the one-day program is sharing of experiences on soil problems in Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara states by farmers and extension agents as well as four lectures delivered at the Sokoto center.
In his lecture on Soil Resources of Nigeria, Dr. Haliru Muazu pointed out that, the soils of Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara states are moderately fertile with sandy to loamy sand textures with varying depths.
He said: “soils of Nigeria, like in other parts of the world are experiencing various forms of degradation hence, the call for proper management and protection of soil resources in Nigeria by all concerned from farmers to policymakers.”
Malam Murtala Mohammed Sauwa, in his lecture, ‘Integrated Soil Fertility Management,’ grouped the processes of soil degradation into five classes, soil erosion (water & wind); soil fertility decline; salinization; waterlogging and lowering of the water table.
Malam Murtala while speaking on the effective use of fertilizer recommended the application of the ‘4Rs’ – right fertilizer product, at the right rate, at the right time, and, at the right place.
On his part, Malam Saleh Lukman’s lecture dwelled on ‘Good Agricultural Practices and Soil Fertility Management for Rice Production in Nigeria.’
He highlighted choice of land, land preparation, recommended varieties, seed management, sowing methods, fertilizer application and time of application, weeding, pest and disease control, harvesting, and threshing as good practices for rice production in Nigeria.
Dr. Garba Aliyu Abubakar while presenting a lecture at the one training program centered on, ‘Good Agricultural Practices for Maize Production in Nigeria,’
In Kano, the lead trainer, Professor Nafi’u Abdu of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, stated that the workshop is aimed at training the farmers on the importance of soil and how to manage it for sustainable agricultural production and environmental protection.
He urged stakeholders in the agricultural sector to practice farming with passion, as a profession and not just for peasant farming saying that the Agricultural value chain is the next oil in Africa.
The Managing Director of Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA) Dr. Yakubu Janaidu represented by the Director of Extension at the agency, Gambo Isa Garko urged the participants to make use of what they have learned at the training to improve their agricultural productivity.