NAIROBI, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Tuesday urged African countries to promote use of organic fertilizer in order to promote soil health.
Abdelkader Bensada, program manager of ecosystems unit at UNEP told Xinhua in Nairobi that use of chemical-based fertilizer over a long period of time could lead to soil degradation.
"The ideal situation is for African farmers to use organic fertilizer from animal and plant sources as a way to enrich nutrients in the soil," Bensada said during the Forth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly currently under way in Nairobi.
Bensada said that agricultural yields in Africa have been affected by a number of factors including poor soil health.
He noted that the developed countries achieved high agriculture production through use of industrial methods that involve high use of inorganic fertilizers.
Bensada added that Africa has an opportunity to avoid soil contamination if it uses more of organic fertilizer as compared to chemical-based fertilizers.
The official said that African farmers can use innovative, impactful and replicable solutions to prevent and reduce soil pollution.
He revealed that use of contaminated water for irrigation could also pose health risks to food consumers.
"Use of recycled water is recommended but care should be taken to avoid use of waste water contaminated by harmful chemicals and organisms," he said.