International Year of Soils Observed at UCC

As part of activities to mark the celebration of the International Year of Soils - 2015, the Soil Science Society of Ghana (SSSG) in collaboration with the Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture has organised a quiz competition for some selected Senior High Schools (SHS) in the Central and Western Regions. Schools that participated in the quiz competition from the Central Region were University of Cape Coast SHS, Aggrey Memorial SHS, Mfantsiman SHS, Jukwa SHS and Assin Manso SHS. The Western Region was represented by Sekondi SHS, Nkroful SHS, Shama SHS, Fijai SHS and Baidoo Bonsoe SHS. The celebration on the theme “A Healthy Soil For A Healthy Life” is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of soil in the midst of fast degrading lands globally. It is also intended to strategise the conservation of this precious natural resource for future generation. Addressing the schools before the quiz competition, the Head of the Department of Soil Science, Prof. Daniel Okae-Anti noted that most of the challenges affecting natural resources could be addressed through fundamental knowledge of soil science. He mentioned some of the challenges affecting the soil to include the increase in global population which has resulted in an increase in agricultural production. He also intimated that pressure from intensification, competition from forestry, cropping, pasture and urbanization as well as degradation and lack of opportunity to expand arable lands were some of the major factors that negatively affect the soil. Prof. Okae-Anti recommended a review of policies and governance systems to give priority to issues concerning the soil and also for scientists to pursue targeted research agenda. He further said that there should be effective education and extension programmes to educate people and added that there should be investment in sustainable soil management techniques. He called for a stop to soil degradation activities and advocated for the incorporation of soil information systems to establish databases on soil resources. At the end of the quiz competition, Assin Manso SHS emerged the overall winners, thus paving the way for them to represent the zone in the national finals in Accra, in the last week of March.