From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River Prof Ben Ayade has urged farmers to carry out proper soil test before planting to ensure bumper harvests this planting season.
Speaking at a one day step-down training on soil testing kits and presentation of the kits to farmers from various local government areas of the state held in Calabar on Tuesday, the governor, represented by the
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Jacob Udida, pointed out that lack of soil testing and wrong application of fertiliser have been hugely responsible for poor harvest.
The implication of this (poor harvest), he noted, gave rise to food insecurity and subsequently rise in the cost of food stuff.
He said the training and presentation of the kits was done by the State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) in collaboration with Nigeria Institute of Soil Science.
According to him, “with this training and presentation of soil testing kits, farmers would now be able to test the soil, know the nutrient lacking and know the type and amount of fertiliser to apply before planting.
“In additon to this, farmers will now be able to know the type of crop to plant on the soil.”
While urging the farmers to ensure judicious use of the test kit, he appealed to them not to exploit other farmers who will come to them for soil testing services, pleasing with them be friendly with their test services considering the time of the season.
Earlier in his address, Mr Etim Bassey, said in additon for their personal use, the kits would also be an income generating source to the beneficiaries.
He described the event as a noble one as it would end the era of blanket application of fertiliser by the farmers.