The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) has said healthy soils and clean water are key to the nation’s food security requirements and necessary for addressing insurmountable food challenges in Nigeria.
Prof. Victor Chude, Registrar of NISS and President-elect, International Union of Soil Sciences, made this known while speaking to the press, in Abuja recently.
Chude explained that the quality and health of soils largely determined agricultural production and sustainability as well as environmental quality.
He said that both factors impacted positively on plant, animal and human health.
According to him, rapid development of the urban and industrial environment in the last decades had put significant pressure on the natural resources globally with concerns manifested by resource shortages, price growth and instability and degradation of ecosystems.
He said it was essential for all and sundry to take proactive measures to safeguard these natural resources for future generations.
The registrar said that the future food security would depend on safeguarding soil and water resources.
“The value of life, the health of humans and ecosystems and the state of the economy are dependent on how natural resources (water, land, energy, minerals, biomass, fossil fuel among others) are sustained.
“Over 95 per cent of our food originates from soil and water; soils are fundamental to life on earth and the ability to provide safe and nutritious food is a key contribution they make to humanity and nature as a whole.
“Planting and managing soil and water resources through effective land and water management, blending innovative, technical and institutional solutions to meeting local circumstances and focusing on better systems of land and water governance,” he said.
Chude added that increasing land water productivity was critical to achieving food security and sustainable profit, noting that there is need to enhance food production, tackle threats from land degradation, increasing water scarcity and declining water quality.