Nigeria Investing In Climate-smart Agriculture To Boost Food Security – Lawal

Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal

By Juliet Ukanwosu

To combat the effect of climate change on the agricultural sector, the Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal, has said that Nigeria is investing in climate-smart agriculture, as well as adopting other measures, in order to enhance resilience of her food systems.

The minister stated this while speaking at the high-level event “Partnering to Scale Up Climate Actions in Fragile and Conflict Affected Situations (FCS) – Zooming in on Food Security,” organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), held in Rome.

Lawal who emphasized the significant implications of climate effect to Nigeria’s agricultural sector, informed the forum that the country is adopting practices such as promoting agroforestry, conservation agriculture and the use of drought-resistant crop varieties to enhance her food resilience systems.

“Our aim is to improve food production while conserving our natural resources,” he said, adding that several policy frameworks like the National Climate Change Policy, the revised National Determined Contribution (NDC), National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change and Nigeria’s Climate Change Act 2021, have been adopted by Nigeria in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.

While acknowledging that the situation is more devastating in fragile and conflict-affected regions, Lawal cited the Northeast part of Nigeria is a typical example of such region grappling with challenges of climate-induced environmental degradation and other issues related to insurgency and terrorism.

“The existing conflicts in this region exacerbate food insecurity and strain our already stretched resources. Farmers are unable to cultivate their lands and food supply chains are broken leading to severe food shortages and heightened vulnerability among our population,” Lawal said, however, adding that inspite all these daunting challenges, Nigeria is taking concerted steps towards addressing climate change and its impacts on food security.

Assuring of Nigeria’s readiness to collaborate with local and international stakeholders to build a more resilient and food-secure future for all, the minister outlined Nigeria’s comprehensive approach to addressing these challenges through local, national, and regional initiatives.

On local actions, he listed capacity building on climate-resilient agriculture and waste management, climate change awareness and sensitization programs, tree planting and renewable energy initiatives, provision of relief items and local security to protect forests and adoption of irrigation farming and rainwater harvesting.

National actions according to him, include cleaning up oil-contaminated soils in Ogoni Land, developing a national adaptation plan and early warning systems for flood-prone areas and the ACReSAL project for landscape restoration in Northern Nigeria, in partnership with FAO.

Similarly, he listed the regional actions to include hosting the Climate Commission for Sahel Region, strengthening border security and bilateral agreements and participation in the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall and West Africa Coastal Areas Management Programme.

The minister further underscored the critical role of partnerships and financing in scaling up climate actions, while noting that Nigeria has been proactive in engaging with international partners to mobilize resources and expertise.

“Our collaboration with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other development partners has been instrumental in supporting our climate initiatives. These partnerships have enabled us to implement projects that enhance community resilience such as the Great Green Wall initiative which is aimed at combating desertification and restoring degraded lands across the Sahel region,” he informed, while calling on the international community to fulfil their commitments to climate financing, particularly for fragile and conflict-affected states, to enable them tackle these challenges as a lot of work remains undone.

“Financial support is crucial for implementing adaptation and mitigation strategies, building resilient infrastructure and ensuring that vulnerable communities are not left behind,” Lawal stressed.

Speaking further, he urged participants to lay more emphasis on the participation of women, youths and indigenous communities at the forefront of climate actions, maintaining that “They are often the most affected by climate change and possess valuable traditional knowledge and practices that can contribute to sustainable solutions.”


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