The Chairman Security, Special Interventions and Climate Change, Governing Board of North East Development Commission (NEDC), Honourable Sam Onuigbo, has proffered solutions to the problem of food insecurity in Africa.
In his goodwill message at the first conference on Accelerating Agricultural Adaptation in Africa held in Abuja, the former National Assembly member who sponsored Nigeria’s Climate Act said to achieve food security on the continent, it is crucial to involve youth and women in sustainable agriculture practices to ensure food security, poverty reduction, and economic growth.
“Africa’s youth population is rapidly growing and transformation in agriculture is essential to create economic opportunities. It is crucial to involve youth and women in sustainable agriculture practices to ensure food security, poverty reduction, and economic growth.”
According to him, Africa should approach climate change within the agricultural sector adding that with climate change threatening to push 122 million more people into extreme poverty by 2030, the continent can no longer view agriculture and food security in isolation from climate action.
The renowned advocate for climate change awareness and action noted that climate-induced disasters are causing food insecurity, forced migration, and pushing vulnerable communities to the brink stressing “the agricultural sector, responsible for almost one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, is both a victim and a contributor to climate change.”
“With climate change threatening to push 122 million more people into extreme poverty by 2030, we can no longer view agriculture and food security in isolation from climate action”.
Speaking specifically about Nigeria, the former lawmaker said the country has taken a significant step forward with its Climate Change Act 2021, which now serves as a beacon of hope in addressing the complex challenges posed by climate change in the agricultural sector.
“By promoting nature-based solutions, conservation, and sustainable management of forests, Nigeria is leading the way towards a more climate-resilient future for agriculture.
“Section 26, among others, strongly prescribes the integration of Climate Change into various disciplines and subjects across all educational levels, while sections 27, 28 and 29 promote nature based solution, REDD+ Registry and Natural Capital Accounts as strategies and practices that use natural ecosystems and processes to combat climate change” he said .
On the North East zone, Onuigbo said agriculture is the mainstay of the people. He however disclosed that the impact of climate change in the region has led to drought, desertification, drying up of Lake Chad, loss of livelihoods, and forced migration which fuels insecurity and insurgency.
He added that the Governing Board of North East Development Commission recognizes and prioritizes agriculture as one of its pillars of development agenda to restore and sustain the livelihoods of the people of the zone.
He commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for creating the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to ensure food security and a robust economy in line with his May 29, 2023 inaugural speech where he (Tinubu) said agricultural hubs would be created throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processing.
Onuigbo enjoined Africans to work together and champion climate action, protect vulnerable communities and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.