Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has presented soil test kits to farmers in the local governments of the state to ensure bumper harvest.
The governor presented the kits after a day training on how the kit was used on Tuesday in Calabar.
Ayade said that it was important to carry out soil test so that the farmer’s effort would not be in vain.
Ayade, who represented by Mr Jacob Udida, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, noted that lack of soil testing and wrong application of fertiliser were hugely responsible for poor harvest.
The governor reiterated that poor harvest was one of the causes of food insecurity and subsequent rise in the cost of foodstuff.
He said that 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, following the presentation of soil testing kits, farmers will test the soil, know the nutrients lacking and know the type and amount of fertiliser to apply before planting.
“In addition to this, farmers will know the type of crop to plant on the soil.”
He, however, urged the farmers to ensure judicious use of the test kit, and appealed to them not to exploit other farmers who would come to them for soil testing services.
“Your services must be a friendly one, considering the time we are in now,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Etim Bassey, Programme Manager, Agricultural Development Programme in the ministry, said in addition to 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.(NAN)