FMAFS, Stakeholders strategize to mitigate Short-Lived Climate pollutants, among others


By Palma Ileye

In an effort to accelerate food and nutrition security, promote climate change, generate employment as well as transform Nigeria into a leading global food producer, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, FMAFS, in collaboration with the Self Help Africa, SHA, Group has strategized to mitigate Short – Lived Climate Pollutants, SLCPs, effect on farmlands.

The project according to the Ministry’s press release issued yesterday aims at reducing the short – lived carbon emission from agricultural waste that will assist to increase the adaptive capacity of Nigeria farmers.

Speaking during the Inception Workshop on the implementation of Nigeria Abatement of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, SLCPs, which took place at Orozo, Nasarawa State, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Temitope Fashedemi, represented by the Director, Agricultural lands, and Climate Management Services, Mr. Oshadiya Olanipekun stated that the implementation of SLCP would replace the open field burning of agricultural waste with clean alternatives like conservation agriculture, briquette making, among others.

Fashedemi stated that food security and climate change were closely linked and there are key opportunities that exist in the sector to transform towards climate-smart systems that addresses both food security and climate change.

He revealed that the Nigerian Agricultural sector contributes 24% to the Country’s GDP and employs over 70% of the population with predominantly small holder farmers, a very critical reason emphasis must be on climate resilience in the sector.

He added that Nigeria was one of the few countries to highlight its commitment to reduce SLCPs as part of its effort to mitigate the effect of climate change adding that the Ministry had submitted an application and approval was given by Climate and Clean Air Coalition, CCAC, for the project abatement of SLCPs in the Nigerian agricultural sector by Reducing Open Field Burning, No Burn Alternatives.

He further revealed that the Ministry was in full support of this project to reduce open burning where it was predominant and that the project would target 500 farmers and 35 extension officers.

He added that the training, demonstration and capacity building activities will take place in Gboko, Benue State.

He described open burning in agriculture as the practice of intentionally setting fire to agricultural residues or fields for various purposes such as land clearing, managing crop residues, controlling pest or preparing fields for planting which consequently lead to air pollution, soil degradation and Climate Change.

He therefore urged participants to take this good news to their respective locations as climate change is a reality that affects the sector in a negative way and the opportunity the project presents in mitigating its effects.

In her remarks, the Country Director, Self Help Africa, SHA, Joy Aderele stated that the Organization has almost 50 years of experience working with farmers in Africa and 25 years in Nigeria and their vision was to create sustainable livelihoods and healthy lives for all in a changing climate.

She pledged that the Organization would collaborate with the Federal Government to strengthen existing structure, enhance resilience and improve crop yields among others.

Earlier In his presentation, the Project Manager, SHA, Julius Awu said that the 18 months project would contribute to achieve the goals of Nigeria’s 2019 National Action Plan to mitigate SLCPs, which aimed at reducing black carbon emissions by 83% and methane emissions by 61% by 2030.

Participants for the workshop were drawn from State Ministries of Agriculture, Extension Service Workers and Developmental Partners.