Nigerian farmers have been advised to embrace better agricultural practices for increased food production and to lessen the impact of climate change.
An environmental expert and project manager of the natural resource policy component for The YouLead project, Mr. Godwin Ogar made the remark during an interaction with journalists after an exhibition organized by The Youth Leadership Entrepreneurship Access Development, YouLead project, implemented by Cuso International Nigeria to mark this year’s World Environment Day in Calabar, Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
Ogar, who identified the continuous use of fossil fuels as being responsible for climate change, said there were indications that unless people take positive steps to salvage the situation, Africa and world would experience intense food scarcity.
According to him, “the NIMET – Nigerian Meteorological Agency – predicted that there will be early cessation of rainfall this year. The implication of this is that there will be less food and when there is less food, it means that there would be high demand for food supply, which may result in high cost of food stuff”.
The Project Manager stressed the need for farmers in Nigeria and Africa in general to adopt new methods in agriculture to guarantee year round production and eliminate archaic system of farming such as shifting cultivation and use of artificial fertilizers, which he noted contaminates the earth.
He also advised farmers to avoid wasting resources as most of the agricultural byproducts could be recycled and used in as organic fertilizers, feeds for livestock and used at home, noting “what we call waste is not to be thrown away as trash. For instance, brickets can be produced from rice husk and used to make fire for cooking”.
“We can see on exhibition, the rim of a car tire, which has been redesigned as an energy saving stove whereby brickets could be used or coal to dry fish, meat and other livestock for eating. The idea of the environmental day is to remind and encourage us to join in protecting our habitat”.
“so, at YouLead, which is implemented by Cuso International Nigeria, we train farmers and would be young farmers to boost production using best environmental practices and safe us as well as our planet”, said Godwin Ogar.
One of the exhibitors and Proprietor of Tassien Shalom Farms, Mr. Mfon Essien said the importance of the exhibition, held within the premises of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science in the University of Calabar, was “to showcase to upcoming environmentalists, agriculturalists and others , the diverse methods of utilizing perceived waste to our advantage without hurting the environment”.
He said that people can comfortably engaged themselves in modern agricultural without hampering or generating carbon, which contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.
The exhibition was preceded by a mini rally and clean up of the University of Calabar Botanical Gardens.