Monrovia- The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the University of Liberia has begun efforts aimed at testing the soils in the country in order to develop the Liberia information soil system. Gregory Tarplah, Director of Crops Resource Division of the Agriculture Ministry, revealed that the soil testing in Nimba County was successfully completed.
Speaking at a recent event commemorating World Soil Day in Monrovia, which was sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization and organized by the Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the University of Liberia, Mr. Tarplah made the disclosure.
Leelia Taplah, the deputy agriculture minister for technical services, was represented by Director Tarplah, who pleaded with the FAO for greater help in order to extend the survey to the 14 additional sub-political divisions in the nation and create a comprehensive Liberia Information Soils System.
He complimented the University of Liberia for hosting the Liberia Information Soil System and the FAO for helping to create the Liberia Soil Information System.
Octavius Quarbo, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s assistant country representative, called on the Liberian government and other development partners to work together to create the country’s soil information system.
In order for people to understand the significance of the soil, Mr. Quarbo, who spoke on behalf of Mariatou Njie, the FAO’s Country Representative, suggested that young people be encouraged to teach more Liberians about soil science.
“As we commemorate World Soil Day this year, we rely on the ongoing collaboration between FAO, the Liberian government, and other development partners like the European Union, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and private sector actors with the aim of accelerating efforts that are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ goal of a “life on land” and lowering poverty and hunger. This event served as a milestone celebration in Liberia because of the formalities, inclusion, and practical experience of soil management practitioners and actors who took part in FAO-GOL soil data-gathering activities earlier this year with funding from the FAO technical assistance program.”
He asserts that the likelihood of producing and exchanging data on soil in Liberia to inform land use planning and the suitability for agricultural production is high given the availability of primary data for analysis, increased lab capacity, as well as training and development of a soil information system.
Leroy Cegbe, the dean of the William R. Tolbert Jr. College of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Liberia, thanked and appreciated the FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture for taking the initiative to raise awareness among the general public about the value of the soil as a source of life. He also applauded the FAO for cooperating on numerous initiatives across the nation with the College of Agriculture and Forestry.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations provided funding for the program, which aims to raise youths’ understanding of the value of soil and inspire them to pursue careers in soil research. It was held under the theme: “ Soil, Where Food Begins,” and was graced by a cross-session of academia from the University of Liberia, the Contington University, the William V S Tubman University, representatives of the Central Agriculture Research Institute, and others.
Reported by: Augustine Octavius