Factors Affecting Soil Quality Maintenance in Northern Katsina State, Nigeria
This study was set-up to determine the key factors affecting soil quality maintenance in Kaita, Mai-adua and Mashi local government areas (LGAs) of Katsina state, Nigeria. Two hundred and forty soil samples were collected and 600 questionnaires administered to obtain information on the various forms of activities affecting soil quality maintenance in the area. The soil samples were analyzed for selected physical and chemical quality indices. Factors affecting soil quality maintenance in the area according to the findings are natural and man-induced, including agricultural practices in general and deforestation, soil degradation and erosion, as well as biodiversity loss in particular. The results also indicated that values of the selected elements affecting soil quality in all the 3 LGAs studied fell below minimum standards. Soils in 2 of the LGAs (Mai-adua and Mashi) were concluded to be sensitive to plant growth. Caution should, however, be exercised for soils of Kaita LGA that are extremely sensitive so as not to continue to increase in salinity. It is recommended that farm management practices in the area should be improved and use of irrigation water encouraged among farmers to check salt accumulation.
Keywords: Soil Quality, Soil Quality Maintenance, Factors Affecting Soil Quality