By Kayode Olabanji, Okitipupa
Climate-smart agricultural practices have been identified as the way to go if Nigeria must achieve sustainable food security and sufficiency within the framework of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
This was the submission of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, while delivering a keynote address, “Meeting the Challenges of Food Security of the UN SDG in Nigeria” on at the maiden conference of the School of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH), Okitipupa.
Represented by Dr. Ifeanyiwa Nnamchi-Nwangu at the three-day conference themed: “Sustainable Climate-Smart Agriculture in the wake of Food Insecurity and Migration” Orelope-Adefulire disclosed that her office is ready to support and partner with OAUSTECH for its commitment to advancing knowledge in the crucial area of food security in the country.
She reiterated that Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) practices would help Nigeria increase agricultural yields/productivity and incomes, adapting and building resilience to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are very hazardous to human, plant and animal survivability on earth.
The former Deputy Governor of Lagos State stated that in addition to embracing CSA, the government must ensure research institutions are strategically and properly funded to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more safe and sustainable patterns of consumption and production, improve education and raise awareness of human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warnings, substantially reduce bribery and corruption in all its forms and importantly ensure effective collaborations between government, private sectors, academia and industry to leverage policy, research and innovations to tackle this critical issues.
“In doing so, we will not only achieve food security in tandem with the SDGs but also build a prosperous and resilient nation,” she emphasised.
According to her, the Nigerian government is actively making efforts to address climate change impact through initiatives such as the Great Green Wall projects that are not only helping to restore degraded land but also contributing to biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation.
The SSA to the President on SDGs hinted to the participants that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has declared a state of emergency on food security and highlighted immediate areas of intervention and solutions to the challenges of food security in Nigeria.
Her Excellency highlighted the areas of Bola Tinubu government’s interventions to include release of grains and fertilizers to farmers, the creation of a commodity board, engagement of security architecture for the protection of farmers, directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria to fund agricultural value chains, increase revenue for food and agricultural exports, trade facilitation and creation of synergy between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and that of Water Resources to ensure irrigation of farmlands.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief host and the OAUSTECH Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Temi Ologunorisa, thanked the speaker for honouring the invitation of the University and for her acceptance to deliver the keynote address at the conference.
He commended the School of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (SAFNR), OAUSTECH for taking the bold step to organize the conference, as he eulogized the Dean of the School, Prof. Oluyemisi Akinyemiju for giving direction and providing the right leadership for the School.