NISS partners ICEHD on climate change mitigation

Women farmers

The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), has pledged its commitment to collaborate with the International Centre for Environmental Health and Development (ICEHD), to mitigate impacts of climate change on rural women farmers.

The Registrar of the Institute, Prof. Victor Chude, made the commitment yesterday in Abuja, at the National Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and media dialogue on, “Climate Justice and Economic Resilience Project for Rural Women Farmers in Nigeria.”

The forum, organised by the ICEHD, was aimed at increasing the number of rural women farmers’ leaders in Nigeria, who are skilled in climate-smart agriculture and innovative farming technology.

The initiative also aimed at supplying the women with tools aimed at increasing crop production, improving food security, access to market and agriculture financing in 2022 among others.

The ICEHD is currently working on a two-year project on, “Climate Justice and Economic Resilience for Rural Women Farmers.”

Chude said the Institute would collaborate with sister agencies to promote sustainable management of soil resources for protection, conservation and sustainable productivity, being part of its mandates.

“NISS is committed to the protection and management of Nigeria’s soil resources. As such, we strongly align with the objectives of the dialogue aimed at fostering climate resilience for rural women farmers.

“We recognise the role soils play in climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as the role of women farmers in agriculture.

“We will, therefore, continue to collaborate with local and international organisations to provide support to farmers and extension agents in the form of sensitisation and training on climate-smart agricultural practices,” he said.

Considering their vital role in agricultural production, Chude said the Institute had prioritised women farmers in its ongoing nationwide distribution and training on the use of soil test kits.

According to him, with the initiative, they can harness the soil for sustainable food production and carbon sequestration in mitigating climate change.

The registrar said the Institute was currently operating a five-year Strategic Action Plan – 2020 to 2025, aimed at providing solutions to hunger, poverty and land degradation.

Women make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, resource management and building climate resilience.

Chude said rural women farmers had suffered disproportionately from poverty, adding that with the initiative, they could be as productive and enterprising as their male counterparts.

He, however, listed some of the challenges faced by women to include inaccessible land, credit facilities, agricultural inputs, markets and high value agro-food chains and often, lower prices for their crops.

“Women make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, resource management and building climate resilience.

“They constitute more than 60% of the agricultural workforce in Nigeria like most developing and non-industrialised countries.

“They understand the local landscapes and resources including the wealth of biodiversity available and engage in nearly all aspects of the agricultural value-chain from production to marketing.

“Unfortunately, women are constrained by lack of access to information that will increase their visibility to allow them to contribute to decision-making that will ultimately improve their overall well-being,” he explained.

The don, however, observed that due to their exclusion and vulnerability, women were mostly affected by economic and environmental challenges.

Chude said it was important to support various initiatives and efforts to save lives, building resilient communities against climate shock, addressing effects of poverty and imparting skills and techniques vital to improving livelihood through climate smart agriculture. (NAN)

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