Climate change reducing crop yields, increasing food prices: FG

Impact of climate change

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, says climate change poses significant risks to food security by reducing crop yields and increasing food prices.

Mr Kyari stated this at a joint news conference on Tuesday in Abuja on agricultural production utilisation of seasonal climate prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).

He also said climate change had disrupted supply chains, particularly in vulnerable regions with limited adaptive capacity.

Mr Kyari said that the added importance of Seasonal Prediction was highlighted by the vagaries of climate change worldwide.

“It is clearly the case now that the native knowledge and wisdom on which smallholder farmers often relied to cultivate their fields are inadequate under the relentless impact of climate change.

“Accordingly, managing climate risks in agriculture through climate information and early warning services are important tools.

“In other words, integrating meteorological information as part of support services to agricultural production helps reduce losses to extreme weather events.

“It also takes advantage of maximising the benefits of favourable weather,” he said.

…integrating meteorological information as part of support services to agricultural production helps reduce losses to extreme weather events.

The minister said smallholder farmers were primary and significant players in Nigeria’s agricultural space, with rain-fed being the predominant practice.

“But rain-fed agriculture is susceptible to elements of climate change, such as flood and drought, if no concrete action is taken to adapt to erratic weather conditions,” he said.

He said the ministry and NIMET commenced implementing cascading climate information in 2023 for Cross River, Ebonyi, Kano, Oyo, Rivers, and Yobe, as well as the FCT.

NIMET’s director-general, Charles Anosike, said the agency integrates meteorological information for farmers using radio, national television, social media, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and different languages.

“So, building on the database of farmers are critical elements that we want to explore moving forward,” he added.

He said the issue of food security required consistent and deliberate efforts from all stakeholders to empower and equip farmers.

In a presentation, NIMET said crops were sensitive to climate change, including changes in temperature and precipitation. (NAN)

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