From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

A professor of Soil Microbiology, University of Benin, Prof. Abraham Ogboghodo, has called for the development of a national soil map to tackle food shortages in the country.

He made the call while speaking with journalists in Benin shortly after delivering the 11th Valedictory lecture of the institution.

Prof. Ogboghodo said that the essence of having a national soil map cannot be overstated as it would save the country from poor food harvests as well as the appropriation of land for the best use.

“It is a pity that we have a country of over sixty years old, and we can not boast of a soil map for the country.

“And there are experts in our universities and research institutions that can help us develop these soil maps.

“We can begin by telling universities to do the soil map in their locations and then collate all the maps together to get an entity,” Ogboghodo added.

He further said that “the advantage of soil map is that, the country will be able to know the various crops that are suitable for the different soils in the country.

“Farmers will not waste money cultivating in a land that is not suitable for planting a given crop.

“Also, banks will be careful about the type of loans they give for farming purposes.

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“Before they give out loans for farming purposes, they will be able to know if the crop to be grown in a given area will do well”, Ogboghodo said.

He further called for better funding for education institutions to do more research, noting that there cannot be development without research.

“In terms of research, a lot of our facilities in the universities are getting old; facilities that were used to produce 10 students many years ago are still being used to produce 100 students now.

“How do you expect the students to do well? So, we need to do a lot in terms of funding our institutions.

“This is because we have a lot to gain from research; countries that have done well had research at their core base,” Ogboghodo said.

Speaking about his academic journey of about 40 years, he said, “Looking back, I have every reason to say that it has been the grace of God.

“I enjoyed the past 40 years working with students, staff, colleagues, both my seniors and juniors.

Speaking also at the validatory lecture, a representative of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Catherine Ukponmwan lauded the speaker for a well-delivered lecture and wished him more success ahead.

while describing Professor Ogboghodo, Dr. Mrs Valerie Edosa said he is an academic leader par excellence and a man who stands for the truth at all times.

She prayed for God’s grace in good health as his legacy continues to illuminate the minds and hearts of generations to come.