Climate change, biggest threat to food security —Lokpobiri

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has said that climate change has been identified as the biggest threat to global food security.

This is just as he said that farmers are the most vulnerable to the adverse effect of climate change in recent times.

Speaking during the occasion of the World Food Day, Lokpobiri said that several measures have been taken in the past by the government to reduce the sector’s vulnerability to climate change.

“As stakeholders in the agricultural sector of Nigeria’s economy, climate change must be seen as the biggest threat to global food security. The most vulnerable people to food insecurity are the farmers who are amongst the poorest people in this part of the World. Similarly, they are the hardest hit by higher temperatures and increasing rainfalls as well as frequency and magnitude of droughts and flooding,” he said.

He further said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed that the African continent is the most vulnerable to climate change, adding that by 2050, the world’s population will grow to 9.6 billion.

“This underscores a heavy demand for food; thus requiring that agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effect of climate change, as well as ensure it becomes more resilient, productive and sustainable.

“Agriculture accounts for almost 24 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Therefore increase in droughts, floods, erosion, land degradation and other threats to agriculture and its acceleration in the coming decades will impact heavily on food security.

“These can lead to a shrink in the national GDP by up to 11 per cent in 2020 and 30 per cent by 2050, with associated effect and losses estimated between N15 to N69 trillion ($100 to 450 billion) going by FAO statistics,” he said.