• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Scientists advocate re-establishment of National Agricultural Land Development Authority

land degradation

Scientists under the aegis of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) recently called for the re-establishment of the country’s National Agricultural Land Development Authority to tackle the high rate of land degradation in the country.

 They said that the current level of land degradation in the country stands at about 60 percent of arable land and 30 percent of forest.

 Bashiru Raji, a professor, and president of SSSN disclosed this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital while briefing journalists ahead of this year’s World Soil Day.

Raji revealed that under the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programme (LDN TSP) a princely sum of N194 billion is needed to restore the country’s degraded lands by 2030 to the pre-2015 scenario.

He hailed the Federal Government for its giant and visible strides and gains in the agricultural sector within the last four and a half years.

“For these gains to be sustained and for the attainment of seven sustainable development goals (SDGs) the FG needs to keep faith with the action plans of LDN TSP,” he said.

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 “The government should also consider re-establishing the moribund National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) to scientifically coordinate the on-going land development under the agricultural transformation agenda; existing regulatory policies such as the National Erosion and Flood Control Policy, Nigeria’s Agricultural Promotion Policy 2016-2020, Great Green Wall and National Economic Recovery Growth Plan 2017-2020 should be leveraged upon to accelerate restoration of degraded lands and prevent future occurrence,” he added.

He stated that the SSSN would through the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science evolve a national soil policy for the sustainable exploitation of the country’s soil resources.

 “The society is ready to partner with Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) to create awareness among the public on the effect of unsustainable use and misuse of the fragile ecosystems as they affect the capacity of the soil to render valuable ecosystem services like food security, groundwater purification, waste disposal, climate change mitigation among others,” he further said.

The soil scientist attributed incessant failure of road in the country to dearth of laboratories and non- deployment of indigenous soil scientists by foreign construction companies.

 Raji attributed the short lifespan of some highways in the country to failure of monitoring and management and not that of science.