The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 urged African countries to promote use of organic fertiliser in order to enhance healthy soil.
Programme Manager of Ecosystems Unit at UNEP, Mr Abdelkader Bensada, made the call at the ongoing 4th Session of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.
Bensada said that use of chemical-based fertiliser over a long period could lead to soil degradation.
“The ideal situation is for African farmers to use organic fertiliser from animal and plant sources as a way to enrich nutrients in the soil,” he said.
Bensada said that agricultural yields in Africa had been affected by several factors, including poor soil health.
He noted that developed countries achieved high agriculture production through use of industrial methods that involved high use of inorganic fertilisers.
Bensada stated that Africa had an opportunity to avoid soil contamination if it used more organic fertiliser instead of chemical-based fertilisers.
He said that African farmers could use innovative, impactful and replicable solutions to prevent and reduce soil pollution.
He revealed that use of contaminated water for irrigation could also pose health risks to food consumers. “Use of recycled water is recommended but care should be taken to avoid use of waste water contaminated by harmful chemicals and organisms,” Bensada said.