The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has hinted that the ministry intended to turn the country into a global powerhouse in food production.
He made this disclosure today, at the inauguration ceremony of the newly reconstituted Governing Council of the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that the level of hunger in the country has become unbearable as a result of decrease in food production due to insecurity.
Alhaji Sabo Nanono, represented by the Director, Human Resource Department in the Ministry, Alhaji Abba Abdullahi, revealed that the ministry had a plan to enhance the quality of soil data generation for appropriate analysis, validation, reporting, monitoring and integration with other related intra and inter-sectoral linkages through effective harmonisation of methods, measurement and indicators.
The minister commended the 5 year strategic action plan launched by the Institute in March 2020, stating that, “it is being implemented along the objective of managing and protecting soil resources as well as encouraging technical cooperation on soil extension services”, he said.
Nanono reminded them that their your appointment in was a clarion call to action, to transform the Agriculture sector of the country.
He further said the strategic plan, “synchronises with the emerging framework of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan 2021-2015, which focused on enhancing agricultural research system, rural infrastructure development, private driven mechanisation, agro and agro-allied cluster expansion.
“It is also stressing knowledge generation and innovation for improvement in extension, productivity, value addition and market access”, said Nanono.
Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Ayoade Ogunkunle said, the Council had worked assiduously in pursuing the mission of the Institute which amongst others included: to regulate the practice of soil science in Nigeria in order to increase productivity for all stakeholders and ensure high agricultural productivity and food security.
He enumerated the achievements of the Council during its first tenure to include: the development and implementation of a 5-year strategic action plan, establishment of zonal offices for ease of monitoring of activities at the grassroots, inventorisation programme to ensure soil analytical laboratories meet international standards and distribution of 240no soil test kits across the geopolitical zonal offices.
Others included;. the development of the draft National Agricultural Soil Management Policy, acquisition of land space for the state of art Analytical reference laboratory in Kaduna, nearing completion and also the mandatory continuous professional education to update its members with new development in the profession.
Prof. Ogunkunle assured the minister that the Council under his chairmanship will adhere strictly to the mandate of their duties for the benefits of smallholders’ farmers at the grassroots.
Registrar of the Institute, Prof Victor. Chude, applauded the minister for the approval of laboratory spaces with additional space at the Kaduna soil laboratory in Kaduna and the overall support of the ministry in enabling the Institute attain its mandate so far.
He expressed appreciation to the Council for the enormous cooperation, support and commitment to the growth of the Institute while soliciting for more going forward to enable the Institute continue on the path to achieving its objective as the foremost regulatory Institute for Soil Science and Agricultural practice in Nigeria.