THE Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), has harped on the need to develop technical, policy and investment conditions to achieve sustainable agricultural development for food security under climate change.
Professor Victor Chude, the Registrar of NISS made the call in Abuja at the ‘Train the Trainers’ Workshop on “Climate Smart Agricultural Technologies for Profitable Farming in Nigeria.”
Professor Chude, while stating the agricultural sector must transform itself in order to feed a growing global population and provide the basis for economic growth and poverty reduction, said the transformation must be accomplished without hindering the natural resource base of the country.
He said more productive and resilient agriculture requires a major shift in the way land, water, soil nutrients and genetic resources are managed to ensure that these resources are used more efficiently and sustainably.
According to him, “Making this shift requires considerable changes in the way we practice agriculture. We must think smart and apply smart technologies to practice agriculture in a profitable manner without hindering the environment.
He further stated that Nigeria agriculture has abundant opportunities for highly profitable economic activities, adding that it is subject ed to climatic condition as it is also the sector that is most affected by climate change.
He said the rising temperatures and increased frequency of extreme events such as flooding have direct and negative impacts on crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture productivity.
“It directly affects the soil as it increases the rate of desertification, decline in soil fertility and biodiversity, and rapid evapo-transpiration. This challenges us to find new ways to grow food in a changing climate without negatively affecting the environment.
“Improving the way we manage agricultural systems and natural resources is fundamental for effectively achieving food security in Nigeria. We can no longer afford to separate the future of food security from that of natural resources, the environment and climate change, they are inextricably intertwined and our response must be as well,” he added.