Report flays government over climate change, others
A report by Oxfam Nigeria, an international confederation network, has indicted the country for non-commitment to climate change and agriculture funding. The report, which blamed the country for not investing more in climate change and small-scale farmers, called for a future that is free from injustice and poverty.
Although it acknowledged that some successes were recorded in public-funded projects, it said the focus on input supply was still restrictive, while investment in agriculture and climate was below the desired levels.
It condemned the situation, which occurred, despite the country’s vision for economic transformation and commercialisation with agriculture at the centre.The report canvassed an increase in the country’s agriculture and climate change adaptation to support smallholder farmers, since funding levels for agriculture and climate change were lower than expected.“With adequate support, small-scale farmers throughout Nigeria could overturn rampant malnutrition and move the country towards food security,” the report said.
Oxfam further stated that small-scale farmers have not been supported with fertilisers and access to market, with defined climate change adaptation strategies.The report added that the country’s funding for agriculture and climate change, was not in line with the Maputo Declaration.
The body urged the Federal Government to increase spending in the agricultural sector to at least, 10 per cent of the national budget.“As a matter of urgency, the government in partnership with donors should work toward boosting dedicated climate adaptation funds in the
agricultural sector to match investments in other African countries,” the report added.
It called for the redirection of funding to smallholder farmers to align with their needs, especially female farmers who face additional constraints in accessing agricultural inputs and extension services.It said farmers need support to ameliorate the high cost of fertilisers, machinery, water pumps and other resources.
The report added: “Farmers who access inputs through credit may achieve more economic independence, especially when they are setting funds aside through savings groups. They also need weather information, market access, land tenure and adaptation strategies.”
It called for the enactment of policies to scale up private sector involvement to enhance food production and provide a ready market for products through sustained support for farmers. According to Oxfam, smallholder farmers are the backbone of Africa’s largest economy, as Nigeria is predicted to be one of the world’s 15 largest economies by 2050.
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