The Nigerian government has given the National Agricultural and Land Development (NALDA) a go-ahead to permanently instate 30,000 agricultural and other sciences graduates to handle soil tests and other responsibilities for the agency.
This was revealed by Paul Ikonne, the Executive Secretary of the National Land Agency today (Monday) in the nation’s capital.
This development is in line with the effort to strengthen food security in the nation, as the selected graduates will undergo a two-week intensive training on soil samples collection and soil testing.
The Executive Secretary has noted that beneficiaries would get soil test kits and soil collection sample kit at the end of the exercise. More so, farmers requiring the services of the trainees would pay a token of N500 per soil sample collected.
“Over the years, farmers go to the farm to do their normal thing; open the soil put their maize or their wheat without a soil test to ascertain the nutrient that the soil requires.
“The fertilizer dealers take advantage of that to sell all kinds of fertilizers to farmers and at the end of the day; the desired yield will not be achieved.
“We cannot achieve food security without understanding our soil: without getting our farmers to know what the soil requires.
“These soil doctors will go to farmlands, meet the farmers and conduct soil tests before the farming season begins to determine what nutrient the soli requires and what type of fertilizer the crop will need.
This process will be done in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Soil Sciences, and the state government added Mr. Ikonne.