By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
The bill to create the Nigeria Soil Institute if passed by the 8th National Assembly will aid in Nigeria’s move from subsistence agricultural practices to large scale production says Cross River’s deputy governor Ivara Esu.
Esu made this call in an interview with Radio Nigeria’s Zacheus Babalola on the occasion of the United Nation’s World Soil Day billed for December 5th every year where he stressed the need for the federal government to take Soil testing seriously as it will aid facilitate sustainable development.
He called on the 8th National Assembly to expedite the process of the passage of the bill to create the Nigeria Soil Institute.
Esu said that “The Nigeria Soil Institute is very very important for us, I really hope that the 8th National Assembly will do something to urgently pass that bill because it will really bring together those people who need to make recommendations and people who will be seen by government as duly certified on those issues.”
On the level of attention paid to soil testing in the country, Esu averred that “Soil testing is ignored most times. I don’t know of any state that has a properly run soil testing laboratory. As I speak, the Federal Government tried to set up some soil testing laboratories at Kaduna and Umudike but I don’t know if that has been properly utilised.”
Furthermore, Esu described the United Nation’s decision on the celebration as an act to show that advanced countries “recognize the use and importance of soil in sustainable development”, adding that “We should because of that begin to accord soil its importance in the scheme of things and spend the necessary money that it will take, to bring this know about and make it common to our farmers, make it common for those who are into food production even at the subsistence level so that they will know they need that information to ensure that (they are prepared) as we move away from subsistence agriculture to large scale production.”
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