By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
A professor of soil fertility and plant nutrition, Moses Awodun, has warned against the use of synthetic fertiliser as they adversely affect health on consumption in food and fruits.
While delivering the 129th inaugural lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) titled: “The nexus of population, food Security, climate change and plant nutrition: Organic wastes as alternative Fertiliser in Nigeria”, Awodun said the risk of dying from cancer (brain cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, intestinal cancer and lymphoma (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL) is said to be six times more when synthetic fertiliser are used on crops that are consumed by people.
He said synthetic fertiliser have also been associated with a condition which leads to difficulty in delivering sufficient oxygen to all body tissues, and is also linked to birth and development disorders such as the Blue Baby Syndrome.
Awodun said crops grown with high impact of fertilisers were less resistant, less nutritiously balanced and rot more rapidly than those which are naturally grown.
“The application of excess fertiliser is destroying the presence and balance of the Microbiome responsible for the production of nutrients in the soil thus making the farmer more and more dependent on this inorganic fertiliser,” he said.
Awodun referred to a report which stated that an individual today would need to consume twice as much meat, three times as much fruit, four to five times as many vegetables to obtain the same amount of minerals and trace elements available in the same food in 1940 because of the use of synthetic fertiliser.
With the rich endowment of abundant natural, mineral and human resources which characterise developing world and especially Nigeria, Awodun said the country is expected that they should be able to produce enough food to feed their people, generate foreign exchange earnings from the export and sales of surplus.
He said Nigeria soil should be the next black oil in a world of climate change, adding that if as a country, it can curtail the vagaries in farm activities; it will go a long way in restoring life to the soil.
In his remarks, the FUTA Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development, Prof. Philip Oguntunde described the lecture as a contemporary one to present happenings within the society. He also commended the lecturer for his immense contributions to the body of knowledge in his field of study.