Kenyan scientists on Tuesday sounded alarm over declining soil fertility terming it a threat to the country’s ability to feed a ballooning population.
The scientists who spoke at a regional forum in the resort town of Naivasha attributed climate change and poor farming practices to loss of soil fertility in Kenya’s breadbaskets.
Charles Warria, an official from the Kenya Market Trust said communities were staring at food insecurity due to loss of soil nutrients.
“We need to act on the crisis of declining soil fertility in regions that produce key staples like maize, millet and wheat. There are innovative measures available like organic farming to reverse loss of soil fertility,” said Warria.
More than 200 delegates attended the annual Soil Science Society of East Africa (SSSEA) Conference that discussed practical measures that can be adopted to boost soil fertility.
Warria said that local manufacturers were willing to come on board by providing agricultural lime that would boost soil fertility.
“Time has come for farmers to work with manufacturers of these limes that would be mixed with fertilizers to promote the quality of soil other than the normal use of DAP,” said Warria.
Oscar Magenya, director of agricultural research in the ministry of agriculture said the government has rolled out interventions to boost soil health in the country.
“We are supporting the involvement of soil scientists in pursuance of their interests in the public and private sector while promoting soil science research for development, “said Magenya.
Eliud Kireger, director-general of Kenya Agricultural Research Organization (KARLO) said that land degradation combined with drought and desertification have worsened loss of soil fertility in farming regions. Enditem