SOIL FERTILITY MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA
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SOIL FERTILITY MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA ByProf V. O. ChudeSoil Fertility InitiativeNational Programme for Food Security NPF - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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SOIL FERTILITY MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA By Prof V. O. Chude Soil Fertility Initiative National Programme for Food Security (NPFS). INTRODUCTION.

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SOIL FERTILITY MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA

By

Prof V. O. Chude

Soil Fertility Initiative

National Programme for Food Security (NPFS)


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INTRODUCTION

In the past 40 years, technologies to improve the productivity capacity of Nigerian soils have been generated. Unfortunately, these technologies have not been transferred to or implemented by the intended beneficiaries. The known technologies for restoring soil fertility can be grouped as follows:

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  • Increased and more efficient use of mineral fertilizers.

  • Exploitation and use of locally available soil amendments such as phosphate rocks, lime, and dolomites.

  • Maximum recycling of organic products, both from within and from outside the farm (crop residues, animal manure, urban refuse, compost etc.).

  • “Improved” land use systems, based on both indigenous and science-based technologies (rotation in addition to intercropping, agroforestry and related tree-based farming systems, increased used of species that can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, alternatives to slash-and-burn so that fallows can be improved, etc.).

  • Effective methods to control wind and water erosion, tailored to indigenous knowledge and using local biological and physical resources.

  • The concept “of integrated nutrient management,” which translate into the use of most efficient and attractive combination of previously known technologies, tailored to local farming systems and to specific agroecological niches that play a role at different system levels: regional (subhumid vs. semiarid), district (peri-urban vs. rural), watershed (rainfed uplands vs. valley bottoms), and farm (home garden vs. plots farther away).


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Constraints

Agriculture can only be persistent and sustainable when the technologies are developed with the participation of the end users (and taken into consideration these clients’ needs, means and circumstances). As much as possible, local institutions should lead the way but with adequate support from external research and development institutions. Sustainability is also enhanced by the existence of an enabling policy environment. Constraints that impinge on one or more of the technologies previously listed are as follows :


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1. Mineral fertilizer use is hampered by unavailability of capital and credit, by national and international disincentives, by poor marketing and pricing, and by gender bias.

  • Use of much cheaper soil amendments is hampered by lack of awareness and misconceptions on the returns to investment in soil fertility restoration using local resources, by low availability of identified local resources, and by lack of institutional support and extension.

     3. Use of organic inputs is limited mainly by lack of labor and sheer relative scarcity as a result of multiple uses.

  • Non-adoption of “improved” land-use systems is exacerbated by limited knowledge on the need to integrate land used systems into farming systems and thus increase farmers’ awareness and perceptions of the benefits, while specifically highlighting the role of women; by failure to recognize that tree systems and such other long-term investment packages require clear-cut land tenure arrangements.

  • Labor availability, perceived high investment cost, reluctance to accept a long payback period, and lack of clear-cut land tenure arrangements are the major constraints to adoption of soil conservation measures.



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