Tackling Challenge Of Food Scarcity At Scientists’ Confab
UNLESS effective soil management strategies are embraced in Nigeria, the nation should expect an imminent food scarcity, the President Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) Professor V.O. Chude has said.
Chude, at the 39th annual conference of the SSSN at Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara state, said every serious minded nation should have short, medium and long term strategies for food security, “which only proper soil management can guarantee.”
He said the theme of this year conference, ‘Managing Nigerian Soil for Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation’, was consciously chosen to harp on the imperative of soil management in enhancing food and nutrition security in the face of climate change.
Already, the Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science, the professional body of the Nigerian Institute of Soil Scientists has been laid before the senate for the third and final reading and it is hoped the Bill will be sent to the President for his assent before May 29.
The mission statement, Chude said was to ensure the efficient use, management and conservation of all land and soil resources in order to bring about sustainable soil productivity and food security. He added, “I am optimistic that the Bill will be sent to the President for his assent before May 29, this year.”
Chude, in line with Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) statistics said food production the world over, must increase by at least 60 per cent to meet the food demand of a billion people by 2050.
The SSSN boss added, “in Nigeria, the population is expected to grow from the current 160 million people to 430 million by 2030 and 730 million by 2100. The huge task for us in Nigeria is how to meet the expected growing demand for food, considering the negative impact of climate change on food and nutrition security.
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, while speaking at the event through a representative, Mr. Akanerem Essien, lauded the enormous contributions of the society to the standard of academic programme accreditation of Nigeria.
The Vice Chancellor, Landmark University, Prof. Joseph Afolayan said the theme of the programme was in harmony with the drive of the host institution towards sufficient food production and agribusiness focus.
For him and in quests for more breakthrough in the endeavour the conference would urge scientists working on food production, soil management, and climate change to discuss their various scientific and technological research findings, identify current gaps in knowledge and discuss approaches in which soils could be better managed to address the challenges of ensuring food security.