Dr Victoria Adenle-Saheed, Chief Lecturer, Crop Production, Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, has urged policy makers to adopt new trends in cropping system to address food scarcity in Nigeria.
Adenle-Saheed said this at the 29th Inaugural Lecture of LASPOTECH, with the theme: “Threats to Food Security in Nigeria: Emerging Trends in Cropping System as Solutions,’’ on Friday in Lagos.
She said that cropping systems could be integrated with other agricultural techniques to fulfill both ecological and economic demands.
“The fact that Nigerians are now worried about knowing what they are eating has spurred more thinking into cropping system than just production.
“New trends require that we stick to our own traditional method of planting, with better plant arrangements that will eliminate diseases and replenish the soil.
“It will also make furrows in the farm that can harbour water for irrigation, where irrigation equipment is not possible.
“Government should encourage our local blacksmith to produce more farm equipment. If enhanced, they will take away the importation of implements.
“More farming extension officers should be engaged to take the innovation round villages and train them on the trends’ this will create jobs,” Adenle-Saheed said.
She added that farmers had to go back to their traditional cropping system with modifications, such as inter-cropping, inter-planting, replay-cropping, crop rotation and shifting cultivation.
“All these cropping systems can be practised on a large farm to maintain fertility, instead of the use of fertiliser that can damage the soil.
“The other modifications that can be followed are: planting in containers, bags, soilless through fertigation and hydroponic planting to bypass weed, which is the major setback in Southern Nigeria.
“They should also encourage and intensify efforts in a local production of farm implements, instead of over-dependence on imported tools, “Adenle-Saheed said.
She advised governments at all levels to engage more extension officers who would propagate the innovative emerging trends in the cropping system.