The quality of the planting medium is as important as the quality of planting materials used. In this case, the soil is a very important component that every farmer needs to improve by all means. Firstly, knowing the status of the constituents of the soil will guide a farmer in developing efficient soil management practices.

It is sad that many farmers do not have access to soil laboratories or cannot afford to do a comprehensive soil analysis, thus leading to poor soil management practises and low productivity. Many activities carried out are done on a trial and error basis, and not on informed decisions. At times, our soil management practices are not in alignment with the needs of the soil. For instance, a farmer who is faced with the issue of low soil pH, still uses different kinds of fertilizers especially those which will further reduce the acidity because no soil test is carried out, and only believe that fertilizers are used to increase yield.

Unfortunately, only a few soil laboratories are available in Nigeria whose procedure and results are reliable but not affordable. Majority of smallholder farmers cannot afford to use their services. Thus, it is very vital that soil testing becomes as affordable as the purchase of seeds. We also need more sensitisation at the grassroots on the importance of understanding soil status.

Therefore, relevant stakeholders should provide needed support for farmers to improve productivity through access to relevant information to make informed business decisions. The government should provide more support to private companies to improve soil laboratory infrastructure within the different regions. We all must brace up to be consciously involved in the growth of the agricultural sector to achieve food security.