Environmentalists warn local farmers against harmful use of agrochemicals

Some environmentalists have warned local farmers against using harmful agrochemicals in the cultivation of crops to prevent degradation of soil components.

Environmentalists gave the warning in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday, in commemoration of this year’s World Earth Day.

NAN reports that Earth Day, observed on April 22 each year, aims to raise awareness of environmental issues, including pollution, deforestation and global warming.

NAN also reports that series of campaigns are organized to motivate people to come together to find solutions to the problems plaguing the planet.

The theme for this year’s Earth Day is: “Investing in our Planet”.

The founder of an environmental non-profit organisation, Bridge-that-Gap Initiative, Ms. Gloria Bulus, has called on local farmers to beware of over-reliance on chemical-laden additives in the soil.

“It is very important that we do many conservation activities to preserve the soil beyond the celebrations of World Earth Day.

“Farmers should beware of an over-reliance on chemical-laden pesticides and herbicides.

“There are organic pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides that farmers can now use to maintain soil health.

“The benefits are greater when farmers apply preservative additives to the soil than additives loaded with chemicals that are harmful to crops and soil in the long term,” she said.

The environmentalist further emphasized the need to practice safe farming techniques to preserve the land surface from degradation.

“Farmers should also strive to adopt farming techniques that can save the land surface from further degradation.

“Techniques such as crop rotation and mixed cropping can help the soil regenerate and recover lost nutrients, preventing degradation.

“Generally, the adoption of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) techniques can help prevent land degradation while boosting production.

“Any technique that is not harmful to soil or crops, and ultimately to human health, can be called CSA,” she explained.

In his contribution, Mr. Emmanuel Emechete, an environmental sustainability enthusiast, advised farmers to always use chemicals responsibly, to preserve the earth’s surface.

According to him, practices that do not harm the earth’s surface are the best bet for soil health and preservation.

He said some causes of land degradation might not be under the control of local farmers, such as soil erosion and mudslides.

“However, other aspects of soil degradation that can be caused by agricultural activities can include the use of agrochemicals that have adverse effects on soil health.

“Pesticides, herbicides and chemical-laden fertilizers can be harmful to soil composition, even if they lead to increased yields in the short term.

“Furthermore, mulching, when done incorrectly, can generate chemicals that are toxic to the soil and degrade its quality over time,” he said.

Emechete advised that modern farming practices that are unfriendly to the composition of the land should not be adopted by farmers in order to maintain soil health.

Source credit: NAN

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