An ecologist, Mr Habib Omotosho, has called on agricultural stakeholders to address the issue of soil pollution, saying that contaminated soil hinders the growth of plants.
Omotosho, who is the National Coordinator of the Environmental Advancement Initiative, said contaminated soil decreased soil fertility, causing poor or stunted growth of plants.
“The ecological balance of any system gets affected due to the widespread contamination of the soil. Most plants are unable to adapt when the chemistry of the soil changes so radically within a short period. Fungi and bacteria found in the soil, which bind it together, would begin to decline and this creates an additional problem of soil erosion,” he said.
Omotosho noted that the fertility of soil slowly diminished, thereby making land unsuitable for farming and for any local vegetation to survive.
According to him, soil pollution causes large tracts of land to become hazardous to health.
“Unlike deserts, which are suitable for their native vegetation, contaminated land cannot support most forms of life. The toxic chemicals present in the soil can decrease soil fertility and, therefore, provoke a decrease in soil yield. The contaminated soil, which used to produce fruits and vegetables, now lacks quality nutrients and may even contain some poisonous substances that could cause serious health problems for people,’’ he added.