World Soil Day: Soil degradation heightens Nigeria’s food insecurity

Daily Trust
Thursday, December 5, 2019 – By Vincent A. Yusuf | Published Date Dec 5, 2019ttps://
Soil is said to be fast losing its quality as experts brainstorm on the way forward

Today, Nigeria is joining the rest of the globe to celebrate the World Soil Day which is set aside every year by the United Nations to draw global attention to the continued decline of soil quality and efficiency, already negatively impacting on the productivity of millions of smallholder farmers. This year’s theme is ‘Stop Soil Erosion, Save Our Future.’

According to the United Nations, every five seconds, the equivalent of one hectare of soil is eroded and the situation is now becoming alarming as the world population and demand for food grow.

Soil degradation includes erosion, soil pollution, inappropriate use of fertiliser, depletion of organic carbon, nutrient imbalance, climate change, desertification and loss of biodiversity, among several other factors which affect soil efficiency. Many farmers who spoke with Daily Trust said the output from the same land size 30 years ago is no longer the same today. “The soil is dead,” Audu Ibrahim told this reporter. “In 1984 up to 1996, if you saw the amount of maize I harvested here without applying fertiliser, you will be surprised. Today, I have to apply fertilizer twice, yet, the output is not something that one can be proud of,” the 61-year-old added.

Read more:

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.