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Food Security: OCP Africa partners soil institute to solve soil problems

The OCP Africa Country Manager, Mr Caleb Usoh, said the collaboration had become necessary because the average productivity

OCP Africa and the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science (NISS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on management of problematic soils in Nigeria.

The MoU was signed in Abuja at the inception workshop to mark the kick-off of the project with the theme “Disseminating Innovative Technologies for Managing Problematic Soils in Nigeria.”

The OCP Africa Country Manager, Mr Caleb Usoh, said the collaboration had become necessary because the average productivity per hectare of farmlands in Nigeria is very low and has been attributed mostly to soil conditions, adding that, “This invariably is one of the reasons for food insecurity and poverty within the farming population.”

Represented by Oluwatoba Clement Asana, the production and Technical manager, he said that OCP, a Morrocan fertilizer giant, which supplies phosphate to NPK blending plants in the country under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, will fund the entire project.

“This, as it said, providing solutions to one of the farmer’s age-long menace will ensure food security and eradicate poverty within the farming population, as the understanding and management of problematic soil by farmers can lead to the development of the nation’s agricultural space and the rebound to sufficiency post-COVID-19. This project aligns with other numerous OCP Africa farmer-centric projects aimed at bringing precision to the practice of agriculture in Nigeria and Africa as a whole,’’ he added.

The Registrar of the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), Prof. Victor Okechukwu Chude, said the agency was committed to educating farmers on resolving the various issues associated with problematic soil.

He said the objective of the partnership was to undertake field assessment of the soil fertility status by carrying out survey through data collection and analysis of the soil samples in the target areas to promote the formation of crop and site specific fertilizer blends as a precision strategy to efficient food production