An NGO, African Climate Reporters, has called on various stakeholders on agricultural production to carry out massive climate change sensitisation campaign to rural farmers.
According to the NGO, this will enable them learn various techniques of improving their farming activities.
Dr Yusuf Nadabo, the Grand Patron of the NGO, made the call on Friday while speaking with journalists in Kaduna.
Nadabo commended the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET), for early release of the 2020 weather prediction for early planning.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the agency had predicted earliest onset of rain is likely to occur in the Feb. 24., around the coast of South-South states, while the latest date is anticipated to be around June 22 in the northern parts of the country.
According to him, climate change is real, and it is one of the global issues which must necessarily be tackled to prevent global warming for the survival of plants, animals, living organism and mankind in general.
He said that NIMET prediction had shown that climate change education for rural farmers was vital in every community to prepare them for challenges associated with climate change impact to boost agricultural production.
“These farmers need to learn how to adapt effectively through embracing new techniques of farming with the aim of boosting agricultural production in the country,” he said.
Nadabo said that global warming was part of the major problems of food and agriculture in Nigeria.
“Most of our rural farmers are not aware of climate change or the term global warming due to lack of information and hence the need embark on massive sensitisation campaign in both rural and urban areas so as to help them.
“Our local rural farmers are left backward in terms of accessing information related to climate change, weather focus, new improved crops species and advance of new farming techniques.
“Majority of them are still practicing subsistence farming due to lack of capital and support from agencies as very few of them practice mechanised system of farming in the northern region of Nigeria,” he said.
Nadabo said large number of agricultural lands in the northern states of Nigeria were now turning to semi-Sahara desert due to problems associated with desertification, deforestation, environmental degradation.
Other problems, according to him, are extraction of natural resources, bush-burning, continuous demand of firewood and charcoal for cooking.
He said this factor had led to declining soil capacity for agricultural production, increased natural disaster, flood and extreme weather challenges.
”Due to climate change, most farming communities that only depends on rainfall are now faced with severe droughts, erosions, landslides, with climate change impacting many agriculture products,” Nadabo said.
He listed the impacts to include regular rainfall, declining agricultural productivity, unpredictable farming calendar, biodiversity loss, drying lakes, famine, social unrest, farmers and herdsmen clash, poverty, worsening food insecurity situation, severe heat.
Nadabo called on extension workers to continue to organise series of campaigns to the rural farmers on issues related to climate change and how they could respond through adopting new strategies.
He suggested that there should be annual climate change adaptation summits with all necessary agricultural NGOs, CSOs and government agencies in the rural areas to ensure that the farmers were well educated, equipped and be able to network effectively.
Nadabo added that some of the practices typically associated with sustainable agriculture could also help increase the resilience of the agricultural system to impact on climate change.
He drew the attention of local farmers to the importance of listening to weather forecast in their radio to enable them have a good plan for their farming season.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Grace Yussuf