Soil Solution first-ever Week of Soil underway
By Sulayman Waan
With funding from Citizen Diplomacy and Action Fund (CDAF), The Soil Solution Gambia, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Thursday launched the first ever soil awareness campaign dubbed “Week of Soil” in The Gambia.
The week-long campaign commenced with a presser held at the Department of Soil and Water Management Services office in Yundum. The briefing aimed at sensitising the public on soil health and management to ensure maintenance of soil fertility.
The theme for the event was “Sustainable Soil Management for Food and Ecosystem Security.”
In his remarks, Ebrima Jarra, executive director for The Soil Solution Gambia said the Week of Soil is geared towards promoting soil health and conservation to ensure soil fertility is maintained and lost soil fertility recovered.
“Soil health is a vital resource that supports plant growth and provides essential nutrients for human and animal life. It also plays a crucial role in regulating the earth’s climate and water cycle,” the soil activist said.
According to Jarra, soil health has been threatened by several factors including deforestation, urbanisation and real estate development.
Moving forward, he said The Soil Solution Gambia ultimate goal is to make quality soil information available and accessible to all to ensure the public understand soil management. This, he added, would lead to soil fertility and result in food self-sufficiency in the country.
Abdou Rahman Jobe, director of department of Soil and Water Management Service under the Ministry of Agriculture and Board Chair for The Soil Solution Gambia described soil as the most important thing in agricultural practices.
He said all agricultural practices starts from the soil yet some tend to neglect it. Therefore, he said there is a greater need for the public to be sensitised on soil health and management to preserve fertility.
“The soil can be infected like humans and degraded,” he noted, while adding that soil infection severely affects crop production and productivity.
The soil and water management expert said Gambia’s soil has lost fertility due to soil erosion prompting farmers to embark more on fertiliser application on farmlands.
In this regard, he advised farmers to apply organic fertilisers, justifying that it is more effective in crop production and productivity.
Besides, he said The Soil Solution Gambia is working in partnership with the Department of Soil and Water Management Services to enlighten the masses on the importance of soil health and management.
Ebrima Senghore, oerations officer for The Soil Solution Gambia said: “The Soil Solution Gambia mission is “to protect and make available and sustainable soils that physically support plants with adequate nutrients and water supply.”