An NGO, Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), has called on Nigerian farmers to embark on climate smart agricultural practice to build resilience against climate change.
The Executive Director of GIFSEP, David Michael, made the call on Wednesday at a Capacity Building Workshop organised for the FCT secondary school teachers, who are patrons and matrons of environmental clubs in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop is organised ahead of school resumption to train the teachers to address climate change.
Michael, who said more than 90 per cent of the nation’s agricultural production was rain-felt dependent, urged farmers to practise climate smart agriculture by doing more irrigation without depending so much on rainfall.
“More than 90 per cent of our agricultural production is rain-felt dependent, and once there is drought, it means that what the farmers planted dried off or rot away.
“This means that all their investment and time also lost. And that exposes farmers to more hardship and then increasing poverty.
“As part of resilience building against climate change, we need to practise climate smart agriculture.
“In this case, we need to do irrigation more and not be dependent so much on rainfall.
“We need to make use of all our existing dams and our water bodies and grow food all year round,’’ the executive director said.
He said as many people lost their jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown, the pandemic had showed Nigerians that they could grow food for themselves.
According to him, the flooding that happened recently is going to impact negatively on food sovereignty and food security.
He said, “What we can do is to start garden in our homes, schools and communities.
“We should be producing vegetables that are very nutritious for our youths, kids and families.
“If we can do this all year round, we don’t need to wait for rain. We can irrigate and produce food all year round.
“We need to emphasise and approach irrigation as a way of building climate resilience so that we are able to produce food all year round without necessarily waiting for the rain, whose patterns have changed, and we can no longer predict.”
In her remarks, Hajia Rahmatu Kamar, Head of Department, Science, Technology and Mathematics, Secondary Education Board, Federal Capital Territory, lauded the workshop.
Kamar said that it would assist in enhancing teachers’ capacity on environmental education.
She urged teachers participating in the workshop to sustain environmental clubs in their schools.
According to her, this can be achieved through motivation and guidance of their students to address environmental issues and climate change.
Also, Ngozi Okoro, a teacher at Army Day Secondary School, Asokoro, Abuja, said her school had yet to establish environmental club.
Okoro called on the leadership of GIFSEP to assist in establishing the club.
Commenting, Ifiok Udom of Government Day Secondary School, Bwari, Abuja, said that his school environmental club was established in 2017.
Udom said the club had recorded feat in areas of environmental cleanliness, waste sorting and recycling.