By Ikechukwu Odu

NSUKKA—-The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science, NISS, South East Zone, on Thursday, trained extension agents and farmers on the use of NISSAGRO Mobile Application to enhance soil fertility and food production in the zone.
The Institute explained that the purpose of the App was to promote Registered Soil Scientists’ services and engage farmers, extension workers, researchers, agro-dealers and other stakeholders on good agricultural practices, fertilizer recommendation and technologies needed to improve soil and food production in each locality in Nigeria.
In his opening address during the train-the-trainer workshop at the Discovery Hotel, Owere-Eze Orba, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, the South East Zonal Coordinator of NISS, Prof. Charles Asadu, said the App was launched to promote sustainable agricultural practices needed to guarantee food security in the country.
“My understanding of this is that any person who is interested in the data needed to improve our soils and sustainable agricultural production will benefit from this Mobile App.
“The development of this App by the Institute in regulating the profession of Soil Science in Nigeria is to promote sustainable food production systems that would not degrade the soil while also ensuring high and sustainable food production to stem food insecurity staring at the faces of Nigerians today,” he explained.
The Computer Programme Analyst with NISS, Augustine Agbakoba, who explained the App to the participants said that it has Knowledge, service, and tools features which helps the extension agents and farmers with data collection and services.
He equally explained that the App can translate the information in the data base to  English, Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba Languages, and updates farmers on various soil types in different states of the federation.
He  added that it also provides tools to enable farmers  share and get answers to their on-the-spot field experiences from experts. He further said the App can equally serve as library for the farmers and also for planning of farming programmes for the season among other services obtainable in the App.
“The NISSAGRO Mobile App is a unique innovation of NISS. It is meant to be a one-stop-shop App for farmers. Everything that is involved in farming, from the beginning to the business aspect of the farming is contained in the App. Farmers can meet professionals and get help from experts from the App. We have close to 300 registered soil scientists already on this App, ” he said.
He equally explained that it would help to fight quackery in Soil Science as farmers would be getting help from experts through the App.
While making his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, who equally participated in the training, described the App as digitisation of agricultural practices.
He equally challenged the Institute to develop NISSPEG to enhance the professional standard of agricultural practices in Nigeria.
Some of the other participants, including Abia State representative, Damian Asawalam, and a farmer from Anambra State, Emeka Okonkwo, expressed satisfaction with the workings of the App, adding that it would help farmers to improve soil quality and food production in the country.

Facebook Comments