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Coordinator applauds IUSS's involvement in creating awareness of soil science study


...Urges college students to develop interest in soil science, agriculture

The Southeast Zonal Coordinator of the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), Prof. Charles Asadu, has commended the International Union Soil Science (IUSS) for getting involved in creating awareness in the study of soil science among college students in Nigeria.

Asadu made the commendation in Nsukka on Monday during a workshop organized by NISS for secondary school students in Enugu North Senatorial District, held at the Soil Science Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) with the theme: "Workshop on Encouragement of Soil Science Awareness at the College Level in Nsukka, Eastern Nigeria." sponsored by IUSS.

He said that the sensitization workshop which was sponsored by IUSS was aimed at encouraging secondary school students to study Soil Science and other related agriculture courses in the university, as well as to educate them on career opportunities in the study of soil science.

"It's a welcome development that IUSS is getting involved in creating awareness in the study of soil science and other related agriculture courses in the university among the secondary school students in the country.

"Their involvement will no doubt add value to the activities of NISS in creating awareness for best soil practice and management, as well as helping more people to understand what soil science is all about and its relevance in society.

"This workshop sponsored by IUSS will encourage the students intellectually, materially, and financially," he said.

The coordinator said also that the workshop was a follow-up of the Institute"s earlier sensitization tour to secondary schools in the area.

"This programme is a follow-up of earlier workshops in which we went around the schools to educate college students on the job opportunities in the study of soil science.

"We also created soil science clubs in most of these schools, where we empowered the students with seed money to set up crop farms in their various schools," he said

Students from over 20 public and private secondary schools in the Nsukka zone with their agricultural science teachers that attended the workshop were lectured on: Career opportunities in soil science,
Soil Survey and Genesis, Soil classification and land evaluation, Soil physics and hydrology (irrigation and drainage practices).

Other topics are; Soil and water conservation, Soil chemistry and fertility, Soil biology and biochemistry, and Environmental management, among others.

Resources persons from the Faculty of Agriculture, UNN, include; Prof. Peter Ezeaku, Dean of Faculty, Dr. Ben Unagwu, Dr Chukwuebuka Azuka, Dr. Chika Jidere, Prof. Ifenyinwa Uzoh, Head of Agric Science Department, UNN, as well as Prof. Asadu.

In a separate interview with some of the participants, Chinonso Odoh, a student from St. Johns' College, Nsukka said "This workshop is an eye-opener for us, we have been exposed further to understand what we stand to gain if we further our studies in the field of soil science."

Another participant from Community secondary school Alor-Uno, Chidebere Ukweze said "I am so happy to be here today. I learned so many things today. I learned that soil is very important to life and that without soil you can do nothing. I also learned that if you destroy soil, you are destroying life. I am going to study Soil Science because I have seen so many importance of soil to our life."

Also, Geraldine Obetta, a teacher from Boys' Secondary School, Ovoko, Igbo-Eze South LGA said that "this workshop is an important event for the students because most of them think that studying Agric-related courses in higher institutions means that they will end up as a farmer after graduation."

The high points of the workshop were the presentation of educational materials and textbooks on soil science and agriculture to each of the participating schools.

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