The Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) has advised the Federal Government to ascent the fertilizer bill which has been passed by the National Assembly so as to avoid health risks to farm crops and the citizens.

According to the society, the Federal Government must also accelerate the clean-up of polluted sites all over Nigeria to ensure nutrition security and boost food production.

The society made these submissions during its annual conference held in collaboration with the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science on Wednesday, July 24 in Abuja.

In a communiqué signed by the SSSN President, Prof. Bashir Raji and Secretary, Prof. Peter Ogban, the society lamented the catastrophic impact oil spillage has on farm lands.

“The soil resources of Nigeria are currently under severe stress being continuously cultivated without adequate conservation and nutrient replacement measures resulting in soil physical, chemical and biological degradation.

“Government should as a matter of urgency develop a soil policy that include soil testing best management practices and site specific fertiliser recommendations,” the communiqué read in part.

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The society urged the government to cash in on modern technologies to boost the productivity levels of crops on perceived low-quality lands.

“Soil Science Society of Nigeria is willing to partner with States and Federal Governments to revitalise the soil resources of the nation, improve their capacity to sustainably produce food and forage crops and thus stem the increasing conflicts between crop farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria.

“Government should take advantage of existing expertise of soil scientists and on-shelf technologies to facilitate the Green World initiative of government with the view to combating desertification and restore the vegetation in the northern fringes.

“Government should discourage the use of un-graded and un-branded agrochemicals (insecticides, herbicides and fertilisers).

“Government should ascent to the fertiliser bill already passed by the National Assembly to protect the farmers from exploitation, abuse and to save our soils, crops and citizens from health risks and hazards,” the communique read.

The society assured the government that it would be ready to help in areas of expertise.

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