‘Poor Conservation May Hinder Agric Production’


Environment experts have warned that poor conservation policies and programmes of government may affect agricultural production in the future.
The experts bared their minds at a one-day seminar organised by the Department of Applied and Environmental Biology in the Rivers State University, recently.
Professor of Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation, Prof Godfrey Akani stressed that conservation is key to ensuring sustainable agricultural production.
He pointed out that the current scenario where people are allowed to poach, hunt and log wood without adequate regulation may deplete soil and other natural organisms that enhance agricultural activities.
Akani stressed the need to maintain conservation policies and programmes in all spheres of agricultural activities as he expressed fears that many species of animals and plants are facing extinction.
“The state ministry of Agriculture should engage in tree planting programmes, so as to revive lost forest resources”, Akani recommended.
On her part, Director of Forestry in the state Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Nkemdiri Odoya, stated that many conserved forests in Rivers State have been encroached upon.
She stated that the Niger Delta accounts for 50 per cent of fresh water fish in Africa, but observed that, “over hunting and over harvesting of wildlife is such that it has depleted the growing ones”.
Odoya called for the enforcement of forestry laws in order to curb the activities of people who encroach into restricted areas to hunt and fish.
The Director of forestry sought for the training and equipping of staff in the department to be able to monitor conserved forests and lands.