The Nigerian Institute of Soil Sciences on has trained Ebonyi farmers and agricultural extension agents on the protection and management of soil resources.
Prof. James Nwite, the institute’s Representative in Ebonyi, said during the training in Abakaliki that it was inaugural in the state and was authorised by its zonal and national offices.
Nwite said that the training aimed at having experts train farmers, extension agents and other agricultural production stakeholders, on soil resources protection and management.
“The trainees are expected to utilise the knowledge gained from the training to improve their agricultural production systems for higher productivity.
“This will ultimately ensure food security in the state and country under sustainable environment,”
He noted that there was a nexus between concepts of soil protection and management, good agricultural practices and sustainable soil management.
“The training will highlight the common objective of these thematic areas in increasing productivity, resilience and mitigation of environmental degradation.
“NISS since its inception in 2017, has always fulfilled its mandate of ensuring sustainable management of the country’s soil resources.
“We understand that soil is a natural gift from nature which makes its protection paramount,”.
Prof. Clement Okonkwo, a Resource Person at the training said the participants would be educated on managing soil acidity due to the acidic nature of soils in Ebonyi.
Okonkwo who tutors at the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, said that the participants would know that the amount of hydrogen iron concentration in the soii determines its acidity.
“They should know whether the soil is acidic or alkaline and also the measures to take when confronted with acidic soil situations.
“They can apply lime to mitigate the acidity and organic materials as fertilizers.
“Waste products from welders such as carbides, ash from wood among others can be used as lime”.
Mr Okike Onwuasoanya, the General Manager of the state Agricultural Development Programme commended the institute for the training, noting that it would tremendously benefit farmers and extension agents.
“We would continue collaborating with agencies and organisations who impact modern agricultural techniques into our farmers and extension agents,”.
Miss Oluchi Nwode, a participant at the programme also commended the institute and pledged to utilise the knowledge gained from the training to enhance her farming undertakings.