30 farmers and extension agents from Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara states, along with 52 farmers and extension agents from Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, and Jigawa states, were recently trained on soil protection and management by the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science.
The one-day training was held simultaneously in Sokoto and Kano states, drawing farmers from the region to participate.
During the opening ceremony, Alhaji Abubakar Malami, the Program Manager of the Sokoto Agricultural Development Project (SADP), commended NISS for their efforts in training and retraining farmers and extension agents in various activities. He urged participants to apply the knowledge gained from the workshop to benefit the grassroots level.
The zonal coordinator, Professor Samaila Sani Noma of the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, commented that the training is the second in a series of six sessions held in the zone on the protection and management of soil resources.
At the Sokoto centre, four lectures were delivered on soil problems in Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara states.
Dr Haliru Muazu’s lecture on “Soil Resources of Nigeria” noted that the soils in the region are moderately fertile, with sandy to loamy sand textures and varying depths. He stressed that proper management and protection of soil resources are crucial for Nigeria.
Malam Murtala Mohammed Sauwa delivered a lecture on “Integrated Soil Fertility Management,” grouping soil degradation into five classes: water and wind erosion, soil fertility decline, salinization, waterlogging, and the lowering of the water table. He recommended the “4Rs” for effective fertilizer use: the right fertilizer product, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place.
Malam Saleh Lukman’s lecture focused on “Good Agricultural Practices and Soil Fertility Management for Rice Production in Nigeria,” highlighting key practices such as land choice, preparation, sowing methods, fertilizer application, weeding, pest and disease control, and harvesting and threshing.
Dr Garba Aliyu Abubakar’s lecture centred on “Good Agricultural Practices for Maize Production in Nigeria.” Meanwhile, in Kano, lead trainer Professor Nafi’u Abdu of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, emphasized the importance of soil management for sustainable agricultural production and environmental protection.
Dr Yakubu Janaidu, the Managing Director of Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, urged participants to use what they learned in the training to improve their agricultural productivity. He represented the host during the workshop.