Stakeholders push agro-ecological practice against climate change impact
Stakeholders in the Agricultural sector have urged the federal government to adopt Agroecological practices for both crops and livestock production, to tackle the impact of climate change on food and animal production.
The stakeholders included Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, FCT Cassava Growers Association, BFA Food and Health, Climate Energy Remediation Society, Urban Rural Environmental Defenders, Daylight Network, and Nigerian Women Agro-Allied Farmers Association of Cashew Growers.
According to a communiqué released at the end of a one-day stakeholder meeting on Agro-ecology For Climate Action, yesterday, in Abuja, the stakeholders also canvassed that improved food security in Nigeria should include the adoption of Agro-ecological practices. These include diversification of livestock, improvement of range management, increase of cultivation techniques, and breeding programmes that do not depend on chemicals, pesticides or genetic modifications.
They agreed that government should adopt better soil management practices; and provide early warning/meteorological forecasts and related information, urging them to focus more on improved agro-ecological resource management, and enhance implementation of these strategies by building community’s capacity for resilience.
The stakeholders also stressed the need to project and adopt agro-ecology as a viable solution to the impacts of climate change on agriculture, forestry and biodiversity, because it draws on local and traditional knowledge to ensure agricultural production is environmentally sound, culturally sensitive, socially and economically viable.
They urged civil societies and communities to intensify efforts in advocacy and campaigns, to ensure achievement of stated goals, and act as watchdogs for the implementation of the policies.
The National Coordinator of I Food Sovereignty Programme, Mariam Bassey Orovwuje, in her remarks, pointed out that agro-ecology embodies traditional and local knowledge about soil, water, seed, and crop management as technical knowledge that should be enhanced rather than discarded.
She emphasised that the action plan should be such that promotes agro-ecological practices with the aim of conserving biodiversity, adding that communities need to be integrated into development agendas, including through the promotion of alternative livelihoods.
Bassey Orovwuje further unveiled plans by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), an umbrella body of networks and Civil Society Organisations, to launch a continent-wide campaign through its members and networks, for the inclusion of Agro-ecology in countries, by February.