By Waleola Ibrahim, Lokoja
ActionAid Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to recognise the value of climate-resilient ‘agroecology’ and to start promoting this approach to future-proof Nigeria’s food systems against global warming.
The Country Director , Ene Obi who on the African Climate Week holding in Accra Ghana from March 18th – 22nd 2019.
She said, “We have all noticed that the climate is changing, and that the seasons have been disrupted as a result of global warming. In recent years in Nigeria we have experienced more frequent weather extremes, sometimes seeing droughts one year and floods the next. Rainy seasons arrive early, or late, or are far shorter than usual.
“Therefore, we’re calling on the President of Nigeria to recognise the value of agroecology and start promoting it as a real and future-oriented solution to help food systems cope with the impact of climate change.
“Rural communities who depend on farming for food and income are especially vulnerable to climate change. Farmers who depend on predictable rainfall patterns are harvesting lower yields or even struggling to grow food. Soils are drying up quickly due to higher temperatures. New invasions of pests are marching through fields. Fodder and pasture for livestock is becoming harder to find. With hot seasons lasting longer, many communities now find that their sources of water are drying up.
“Amid this new terrifying reality, a major scientific report released last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed that there is very little doubt that the whole planet is steadily warming, and that Africa is on the front line of climate change. The good news is that there are clever strategies available that can help to lessen the harm that extreme weather can wreak on food production and communities.
“These innovative strategies include training farmers, particularly women, who grow some 70% of Nigeria’s food, and encouraging them to use climate-friendly agroecological farming techniques which sadly are often dismissed by the agribusiness industry as less productive or modern than the industrial agrochemicals and hybrid seeds that the industry wants to sell to farmers.
“Nigeria needs a national-level mobilisation to ensure that our agriculture, our water, our infrastructure, our safety and all aspects of our lives are climate-proofed against the further disruptions that we know are coming. One of the most important actions our government could take now, would be to develop a National Adaptation Plan (NAP). We need the government to take swift action to bring together the right stakeholders and to develop an effective plan that can protect our country, our citizens and our food systems from climate change.
“As Representatives of governments from Africa line up to speak and make announcements at the high-level summit in Accra this week, what will the government of Nigeria commit to do? Africa Climate Week is the perfect moment to announce that Nigeria will be promoting agroecology as a farming adaptation strategy for farming, and that the government will urgently take forward the NAPs process.
“We will be listening, for the opportunity to protect Nigerians from the dangers of climate change is too important to miss,” she stressed.