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Climate change threatens agriculture, food security in Nigeria


The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina

Stakeholders and civil society groups in Nigeria have been urged to urgently address the challenges of food security engendered by climate change to ensure that its citizens do not suffer hunger and starvation in future.

European Union (EU) delegates, industry experts and stakeholders who attended the screening of a documentary to highlight the dangers of food scarcity ahead, made the assertion in Lagos.

Nigeria, with an annual population growth rate of 2.3 per cent and an estimated 450 million people by the year 2050, need to address the challenge of food insecurity by government at all levels.

The challenges of food security resulting from climate change, inadequate infrastructure and poor agricultural practices could be seen from the declining number of fish in the Niger Delta, underweight cattle in the North and inadequate rice, wheat and vegetables.

In Nigeria, and indeed all over the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are rising, landscapes are changing and sea levels are soaring. All these pose a great threat to food security, which should not be taken for granted by government at all levels.

The documentary with the theme: Swallow: Food Security in Nigeria’s Changing Climate, an ideation of the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, was supported by the European Union and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.It featured inspiring stories and explored innovative agriculture to galvanise Nigerians towards addressing challenges, opportunities and offer solutions to the nation’s food security.

Director, Public Policy Initiative of the foundation, Amara Nwankpa, explained the documentary summarises how the country could address its looming food security challenges and malnutrition that might follow.“The country experiences seasonal food challenges, there is food crisis in the Northeast as a result of insurgency and 14 million Nigerians are actually undernourished. “There is the possibility that food security challenge could get worse because our population grows at 2.3 per cent every year. The fear is that by 2050, there will be 450 Nigerians.

“The question is, how are they going to feed and what are they going to eat? So, we want to start having that conversation now and that’s the reason for the documentary,” he said.In his presentation at the documentary’s premier, President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwunmi Adesina, noted that in spite of an abundance in human resources, Africa has become a mere importer of food.

He pointed out that the annual food import of $45 billion has been estimated to rise to $110 billion by 2025 if the current trend continued.“The African Development Bank is supporting the Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation in its advocacy to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on agriculture and the critical need to exploit opportunities and solutions to Africa’s food challenges,” he said.Speaking, Head of Delegation of EU to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlsen, noted that the documentary was a strong analysis of the challenges of providing sufficient food for Nigerians now and in future.

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