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Stakeholders Lament Poor Awareness On Climate Change 

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Stakeholders in the agriculture, environment and finance sectors as well as development partners have indicted all levels of government over poor awareness on National Plan of Action on Climate Change in Nigeria (NASPA-CCN), Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Plan (CAADP) and Malabo declaration.

To this end, they lamented inadequate exploration and utilisation of water resources for agricultural activities, likewise lack of involvement of smallholder farmers in the agricultural budgeting process.

These were part of the deliberation at the end of a one-day workshop on agriculture priorities for Nasarawa state, organised by OXFAM.

Oxfam International is a global development organisation that has been working in Nigeria to influence policy change in favour of the poor and most vulnerable, thereby promoting food security and supporting small scale farmers to improve the livelihoods of men and women in rural areas.

Briefing newsmen shortly after the event, the president, Association of Small Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN), Mr Joshua Jonathan said that small scale farmers thought climate change was not real but its more pronounced in the agricultural sector.

To this end, he hinted that the association is collaborating with governments to benefit from interventions in the sector, stressing that governments are already providing farmers with improved seeds that could withstand the climate and mitigate the challenges.

Jonathan maintained that instead of planting the long variety crops, that farmers have started planting the short variety crops, saying that in places where there are shortage of rainfall and flooded areas, that more varieties are being developed to grow in flooded areas.

Aside government action, Jonathan maintained that farmers are making plans to mitigate the climate change challenges on agriculture.

He tasked government on the need to increase information dissemination in the area of climate change, stressing that most rural dwellers are ignorant of climate change.

The president asserted that rural dwellers should be enlightened on the hazards of climate change that is already causing problems globally, noting that proper information would enable them reduce human activities that is causing climate change.

He added, “We need government to engage more people in extension service so that they can help government in dissemination of information because the genuine farmers are denied of adequate information”.

On her part, the Grow Advocacy Project Coordinator of Oxfam, Saratu Abiola noted that the workshop is in line with the CAADP and NASPA-CCN, adding that agriculture in Nigeria is bedeviled by many like formulation of policies without the input of smallholder farmers.

She noted that 80 percent of agricultural production in Nigeria is done by smallholder farmers, saying that the policy meant to address their needs is insufficient, not properly channeled to reach its intended beneficiaries, or not inclusive of women and young people’s needs.

Abiola hinted that improving agricultural policies by making it more responsive to the needs of smallholder farmers is key to unlocking agricultural productivity, reducing unemployment and bolstering economic development.

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