Characterization of soils is helpful in the appraisal of soil productivity. The study investigated detailed physico-chemical characterize of the soils developed on basaltic parent materials on the Jos plateau, Nigeria. The aim was to assess appropriate management practice for their sustainability in agricultural production. Four profiles pits were dug and studied, soil samples collected from pedogenetic horizons were analysed for particle size distribution, pH, fertility related properties. Results indicated that the soils were deep, clayey and reddish in colour (2.5YR 3/3-5YR 3/4). In terms of chemical characteristic, the soils are acidic (pH ranged between 4.6 and 5.6) with low to high CEC values (between 4.3 and 14.8 cmol (+) kg-1) and generally low in organic matter on the average (<1.5%) and exchangeable bases. The four profiles developed on basaltic parent materials on the Jos Plateau of Nigeria were characterized and classified as Typic Haplustusts and Andic Haplustepts. All the soils were well drained in spite of high percent clay above 40% and silt fraction of 20 to 30%, which is apparently kaolinitic, with moderate to high aluminium saturation. Higher agricultural productivity of these soils is constraint by low nutrient-holding capacities and strong acidity. Ways to ameliorate these problems include; to raise the exchangeable Al3+ above toxicity and to supply Ca and Mg contents besides improving soil physical conditions.
Key words: Basaltic, typic haplustusts, andic haplustepts, kaolinitic, aluminium toxicity.