FG inaugurates governing council for NISS

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has inaugurated the first governing Council of the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science.
It Would be recalled that the Act establishing the Institute was signed into law on 3rd February, 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Inaugurating the board recently in Abuja, Ogbeh said there is an urgent need for a well-planned, scientific soil management strategy to control and/ or prevent degradation and ensure continuous use of the soils for increased and sustained crop production.
Hence, he charged the members to ensure that the institute take soil research as part of its core focus, saying Nigeria need to leverage on the research outputs of its academic and research institutions to enhance our domestic production capacity in the agricultural sector.
He said the composition of the board is meant to reflect the mandate of the Institute as well as representation of the critical stakeholder groups in the Institute’s core area of operations.
Assuring the board of the full support of the ministry, he called on the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs), and Federal Colleges of Agriculture (FCAs) nationwide, to always take account of soil as a fundamental element in their research/training activities.
“Soil is the primary research and development material on to which other agricultural research activities are hinged directly and/or indirectly.
The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan has the national mandate for Soils and Water management, amongst its other mandates.
It is thus, responsible for addressing issues on soils, nationwide.
However, the effectiveness/efficiency with which it carries out its mandates is always constrained by inadequacy of functional infrastructure, equipment and funding.
“Therefore, establishing the NISS for quality control, as highlighted in the Law is supposed to enhance and not conflict with the Institute’s mandates, nor that of the Federal Department of Agricultural Land and Climate Change Management Services (ALCCMS) of FMARD,” he said.
The Institute, by its establishing statute, is the primary regulator of the profession of soil science; and has the responsibility to prescribe and regulate the standards of academic qualification and practical skills to be attained by persons seeking to become registered as Members, Associates or Fellows of the Institute, as the case may be; establish, update and maintain a register of Soil Science Practitioners; advance the education, science, technology and art of soil science for crop production in collaboration with Zonal Coordinating Research Institutes.
It also has the mandate to reduce all forms of soil abuse/misuse and promote soil quality management for sustainability of high quality soil through scientific methods, and regulate all issues pertaining to soil management in Nigeria.

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