As Nigeria joins other countries across the continent at the African Climate Week currently holding in Accra, Ghana, Actionaid Nigeria has advised the nation to adopt ‘agroecology’ as the focus of her adaptation plan.
According to the group’s Country Director, Ene Obi, “Nigerian farmers who depend on predictable rainfall patterns are harvesting lower yields or even struggling to grow food” as a result of the biting effects of climate change.
According to a statement issued by its Communications Coordinator, Lola Ayanda, the non-governmental organisation called on President Muhammadu Buhari to act to protect farmers and food supplies from global warming.
Mr Obi 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.”
The statement said rural communities that depend on farming for food and income are vulnerable to climate change.
“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,” Mrs Obi added.
She, however, noted that amid the new terrifying reality is the good news of 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 per cent 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.”
She further stated that; “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.”