The Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre, Environment for Development (REPRC-EfD), University of Nigeria, has called for a government policy to enable farmers to adopt climate smart agriculture to solve the current food crisis embittering the nation.
Charles Igwe, vice-chancellor of the pioneer university, made the call while speaking at the 2020 Policy Day event organised by the REPRC-EfD Nigeria, in partnership with the Gender and Development Policy Centre (GEN-CENT).
The soil science professor, who blamed socio-political factors and the covid-19 pandemic as undertones for the food crises, noted that the greatest challenge the country is currently facing is climate change.
He added that the impact of climate change on the agricultural system could not be wished away as it requires concentrated efforts in the areas of research, policy formulations, farmers’ enlightenment and the practice of climate smart behaviours.
Speaking further, he asserted that the EfD Nigeria Policy Day afforded policymakers, farmers and other relevant stakeholders to brainstorm on policy decisions for gender-inclusive climate smart agricultural practices for the attainment of food security in the Southeast region and Nigeria in general.
On his part, Nnaemeka Chukwuone disclosed that the event was organised with the intent of sharing findings on researches on climate smart agriculture and food security that would enable farmers adopt practices that would boost food production.
Presenting findings on the research titled, “Determinants and Impact of Use of Multiple Climate Smart Agricultural Practices: Panel Data Evidence from Nigeria”, Chukwuone indicated that there was evidence that farmers who adopt climate smart agricultural technologies experience improved crop yield and make more income.
According to him, land tenure security predisposes farmers to adopt climate smart agricultural practices and that households who own and use mobile telephones were more likely to embrace climate smart agricultural practices, including use of organic fertiliser and other soil fertility management processes.
The study shared by Chukwuone recommended that the federal government use the on-going land reform initiatives to enhance land tenure security, especially for women in order to stimulate the adoption of climate smart agriculture practices.
The study also enjoined the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and crop research institutes and other relevant agencies to carefully design and target multiple climate smart agricultural technologies suited to specific agro-ecological zones in the country.
Emmanuel Oladipo of the REPRC-EfD, who also spoke at the event, stated that Nigeria give birth to about seven million children annually, but its contribution to the feeding of those children is inversely proportional. He enjoined Nigerian policymakers to enact policies that would match its food production with its population growth.