Human-induced soil degradation that results from erosion, losses of organic matter, plant nutrients and soil compaction are the key factors threatening food security in Nigeria. Food import statistics show that Nigeria is food deficit and starvation stalks the country. The paper examined in some details some factors of soil degradation, their effects on crop yield decline and its impact on the people and the environment. Management options of a combination of agronomic and engineering practices are proposed in order to improve crop yield even in marginal soils. Facts were presented to show that Nigeria needs a paradigm shift in agriculture development from “a green revolution” to an “ecological intensification” approach that will minimize land degradation, improved crop yield and reduce food import in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Key words: Nigeria, land degradation, agricultural sustainability.