28 C
April 17, 2024

FG, SHA Collaborate to Mitigate Short – Lived Climate Pollutants on Agricultural Land

The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Self Help Africa (SHA) Group, has finalized plans to introduce strategies aimed at mitigating the impact of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) on agricultural lands.

Additionally, the initiative aims to enhance the resilience of Nigerian farmers, boost food security and nutrition, address climate change issues, create employment opportunities, and position Nigeria as a key global food producer.

During a workshop held at Debbie’s Suites in Orozo, Mr. Temitope Fashedemi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, spoke about the implementation of Nigeria’s efforts to reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs). He highlighted that these efforts would involve replacing the practice of open field burning of agricultural waste with cleaner alternatives such as conservation agriculture and briquette making.

Mr. Oshadiya Olanipekun, representing the Permanent Secretary as the Director of Agricultural Lands and Climate Management Services, emphasized the interconnectedness of food security and climate change. He highlighted significant opportunities within the sector to transition towards climate-smart systems that effectively address both food security challenges and climate change impacts.

Mr. Fashedemi revealed that “Nigerian Agricultural sector contributes 24% to the Country’s GDP and employs over 70% of the population with predominantly small holder farmers, a very critical reason emphasis must be on climate resilience in the sector”.

He added that “Nigeria is one of the few countries to highlight its commitment to reduce SLCPs as part of its effort to mitigate the effect of climate change adding that the ministry had submitted an application and approval was given by Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) for the project abatement of SLCPs in the Nigerian agricultural sector by Reducing Open Field Burning (No Burn Alternatives)”.

He further disclosed the ministry’s full support for the initiative aimed at reducing open burning, particularly in areas where it is prevalent. The project aims to engage 500 farmers and 35 extension officers in training, demonstration, and capacity-building activities, all set to occur in Gboko, Benue State.

Mr. Olanipekun described open burning in agriculture as the deliberate ignition of agricultural residues or fields for purposes such as land clearing, residue management, pest control, or field preparation. He highlighted the resulting air pollution, soil degradation, and contribution to climate change.

Encouraging participants to spread the positive impact of the project, he emphasized the urgent need to address climate change’s adverse effects on the sector and seize the opportunity this project offers to mitigate its impacts effectively.

In her remarks, the Country Director, Self Help Africa (SHA), Joy Aderele said SHA has almost 50 years of experience working with farmers in Africa and 25 years in Nigeria adding that its “vision is to create sustainable livelihoods and healthy lives for all in a changing climate,” the Country Director added.

She committed their organization to collaborate closely with the Federal Government to reinforce existing structures, boost resilience, and increase crop yields, among other objectives.

During his presentation, Julius Awu, the Project Manager from SHA, stated that the 18-month project aligns with Nigeria’s 2019 National Action Plan and is designed to contribute significantly to its goals. The plan includes measures to mitigate Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs), with targets set to reduce black carbon emissions by 83% and methane emissions by 61% by the year 2030.

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