Abdulmalik Adetola Lawal
Governments in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, have been urged to address insecurity threatening crop production, and prioritize climate-smart agriculture education to boost food security.
This was stated by Dr, Effiom Oku, a lecturer in the department of soil science, University of Abuja in his interview with AgroNigeria.
He emphasized the importance of climate-smart agricultural education to enhance food security in the region. Most importantly, the challenges of insecurity affecting crop production in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria.
In his words “Governments across Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries including Nigeria need to combat and arrest insecurity that is preventing farming (crop production) in many communities across the continent.
“Climate information and low-input land restoration technologies for deforested and degraded land must reach every smallholder farmer. Action in the form of government policy and relevant support is needed to restore more land, better and faster. Local communities, entrepreneurs (including the private sector), young people, and graduates of Agriculture are to be firmly in the lead.
“The National University Commission (NUC) curriculum of training agricultural graduates in Nigeria, past, present and the new under construction does not recognize climate change from 100 Level to 500 level. This must change for our universities to train climate smart graduates to drive crop and animal production. Also be able to guide smallholder farmers as Extension Officers in a changing climate and under increasing extreme climate events.”
Speaking further, he stated that agricultural research and funding in the past 30 years have been on increasing productivity with only 5 % towards reducing post-harvest food losses and this must change in order to increase food productivity and post harvest losses.
“In Africa smallholder farmers produce 80% of food consumed in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and they suffer from the losses. The World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations recognized that post-harvest losses contribute significantly to food insecurity in Africa.”