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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Decisive actions needed for small scale farmers development-IITA boss

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Director General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga has affirmed the need for decisive actions to help small-scale farmers in order for food security in Africa not to remain elusive with isolated successes.
Speaking in Australia recently at the Crawford Fund annual conference, Dr. Sanginga said the assistance for the farmers should be to help them grow more valuable crops.
IITA revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that low soil fertility and nutrient depletion are obstacles to food security in the continent despite the achievement recorded in crop improvement.
A back up of the IITA boss about land depletion is a recent study by the institute conduction in Great Lakes region of East Africa which showed the majority of the soils in that region are now barren with very little fertility.
IITA attributed the barrenness of the soil to years of mining as well as insufficient replacement of nutrients by smallholder farmers.
Dr. Sanginga also advocated the adoption of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), the application of soil fertility management practices, and the knowledge to adapt these to local conditions.
The ISFM, he said would optimise fertilizer and organic resources use efficiency and crop productivity.
According to the Dr. Sanginga, the ISFM presents a means to overcome the dilemma of low productivity which is attainable by offering better returns for investment in fertilizer to farmers.

Yinka Awosanya

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