As part of its empowerment drive, and efforts to enhance food security in the country, the Federal Government has approved the employment of 30,000 graduates to be trained on soil samples and to render extension services to farmers.
The Executive Secretary, National Land Development Agency, Paul Ikonne, in Abuja, said the graduates would go through a two-week intensive training.
“They will be trained intensively for two weeks on soil samples collection and soil testing,’’ he said.
Those to be employed would be graduates of agriculture or soil sciences, he said.
He said beneficiaries would get soil test kits and soil collection samples kits at the end of the training.
Farmers requiring the services of those trained would pay as low as N500 per soil sample collected.
“Over the years, farmers go to the farm to do their normal thing; open the soil put their maize or their wheat without soil test to ascertain the nutrient that the soil requires.
“The fertiliser dealers take advantage of that to sell all kinds of fertilisers to farmers and at the end of the day, the desired yield will not be achieved.
“We cannot achieve food security without understanding our soil; without getting our farmers to know what the soil requires.
“These `soil doctors’ will go to farmlands, meet the farmers and conduct soil test before the farming season begins to determine what nutrient the soil requires and what type of fertiliser the crops will need,’’ he said