Olaseinde Gbenga, Abuja
In the face of the environmental challenges overwhelming the country, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations’ (FAO) has disclosed that it is throwing its maximum support behind Nigeria.
FAO vows to lengthen technical support to decrease soil erosion and environmental degradation risks across the nation.
Suffyan Koroma, FAO’s representative in Nigeria repeatedly revealed that the agency’s will at the ‘Experts Dialogue’ organized by the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) in associate with the FAO and the Soil Science Society of Nigeria, to commemorate the World Soil Day on Thursday.
Koroma noted that FAO is committed to working with the government and private organizations to curtail land degradation, improve and promote soil conservation, fertility, productivity and food security.
He pointed that the rate of deforestation of primary forest in Africa with annual losses estimated at 11.1 percent, with Nigeria having the highest rate.
Koroma stressed that the rate of desertification in northern Nigeria is accelerating at the rate of 0.6 kilometers per annum, with as much as 351,000 square kilometers regarded as potential desertification.
He said, “To reduce erosion rates on farmlands, and proven soil conservation, technologies must be adopted and these include ridge planting, no-till cultivation, crop rotation, mulches, living mulches, agro-forestry, terracing, contour planting, cover cropping and installation of windbreaks.”
Koroma revealed that the FAO has reinforced its effort and commitment alongside NISS to protect Nigeria’s soil, improve agricultural productivity and ensure a secured future for the coming generation.
He implored all organisations to work harmoniously in effecting soil erosion management and control in future.
“There’s a need to ensure that people have safe and nutritious food without endangering essential ecosystem services,” he said.